Dutch design student Martijn Rigters thrives in the sometimes contentious design divide between craft- and mass-production. Foam Party, his latest work, explores the potential that exists between the two extremes. “I think that, as a designer, the dialogue with the materials you work with is most important,” he tells Co.Design. “I really like the idea of being able to make things in my own workshop as if it is a small production line.”
It took Rigters almost eight months of prep and a month of building to complete the project, which was on display during Milan’s design week. The fantastic hand-cranked machine utilizes a rigid two-part polyurethane foam that allows the chairs to take shape. “After mixing A and B, a chemical reaction takes place, causing the material to expand 15 times; this enables me to use only a small amount of foam to create a full piece of furniture.” He produced about 25 different chairs during the fair, each using a unique “living mold.” “Everyone has a different physique. I measured and documented their dimensions to create a database of the diversity of the molds–or people–I used, as if they were tools.”
He’s still working out kinks in the process and is hoping to develop the technology, ideally with the assistance of a company who could expand its reach. “I would like to produce on a slightly bigger scale, but without losing the element of differentiation,” he says.