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High-Tech Table Looks Like a Robotic Pet

Architects and designers love to rip off earth’s natural phenomena. And the more they do this, the more their stuff looks like it belongs in another galaxy.

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Consider Il Hoon Roh. The London-based architect and product designer has spent God knows how many years hammering out a furniture-construction technique that apes “the structural principles found in nature,” in his telling. The result will be shown at 100% Design London this fall. It’s a collection of tables that could easily be mistaken for a pack of extraterrestrial dogs.

The Table R series have tentacle-like feet and holes riddling the surface, both of which make perfect aerodynamic sense for, say, a space canine lurching through the moondust, but not so much for a table you actually have to put things on. (The designer assures that they come with glass tops.)

Roh was originally inspired by biological structures — beehives, human cells, and the like — that don’t rely on people, or whatever other intelligent beings are out there, for their elegant form.

So for some of the tables, he punched holes into fabric stretched over a rectangular box. Then he let gravity determine the shape of the holes over time, before hardening the fabric with resin.

But the Table R Ex07 (up top and below), was designed solely on the computer: Using 3-D modeling software, Roh “stretched” pieces of virtual fabric–hence the long, slender legs and fat-free body–and CNC-milled the forms, then cast them in aluminum alloy.

Roh is an AA and an RCA grad late of Norman Foster‘s office, and obviously he isn’t the first to imitate Mother Nature. Everyone from the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi to Philips has taken design lessons from biology (see our past coverage here). Roh is unique in that he appears to be taking cues from The Jetsons as well.

[Via the Contemporist]

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