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An Ornamental Chair Even Minimalist Apple Fiends Can Love

One Polish designer tries her hand at decoration for decoration’s — and function’s — sake.

At a time when all things beautifully mundane reign supreme — think: Apple latops and Muji clothes racks — products that seem even peripherally ornamental are brushed off as bad design.

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But Malgorzata Mozolewska‘s concept, Structural Ornament, embraces the frilliness, with stunning results. Mozolewska, a fifth-year design student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, has created a line of chairs that generate old-timey decorative flourishes from ultra-modern technology.

Customized algorithmic software by Michael Piasecki is the key. The starting point is a randomly shaped cosmetic mesh, which Mozolewska manipulates to produce an actual, working chair. Using the software, she thickens areas that bear big loads and thins places that can afford to be light. What results is, to some extent, purely decorative — the mesh doesn’t need to appear the way it does, like the half-finished Death Star. But it also manages to be functional and almost minimalistic; the chairs would look right at home alongside a new MacBook Air.

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Several years back, a project like this would’ve been pure design fantasy. These days, through 3-D printing technology, it can be turned into a physical object. Mozolewska sent a portion of her chair to a Polish company to make a 3-D model and is now looking into getting the whole thing printed. For more info, visit her site here.

[The software; click image for larger view]

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[Images courtesy of Malgorzata Mozolewska]

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About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D

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