Nice chairs. What did you set out to do?
This project comes off the back of my ever-increasing intrigue with hydroforming, a process where we create a watertight cavity, in this case two sheets of steel welded together, into which we pump water. A household water blaster works perfectly. Water has tremendous compressive strength and the water blaster seems to have a one-way valve which allows us to inflate the steel like a balloon or a cushion. It allows steel to embody some more fabric-like qualities. There are notions of hard and soft I’ve been exploring for a few years now.
Explain your process here.
It is as much a building-process experiment as it is a design outcome. Material experimentation is one of my obsessions, and the way I go about furniture is very instinctive. I seldom ever draw anything more than a thumbnail, which is funny for an architect. I like to make my projects interesting and beautiful in their outcome and their building techniques. Much like architecture, I find furniture is really beautiful when form is tied to structure, rather than a structure that is clad over – I feel it’s more honest and holds more true beauty. Now that my architecture practice and my furniture/sculpture is within the same space, it allows for an intentional intersection of disciplines. Imagine a hydroformed house, for example.
Will you make more?
These are a one-off, but I will continue to develop hydroforming and I’m not ruling out similar builds in the future. The base chair frame is a design I’ve been working with for a few months. I have plans to have some small-scale product runs with the chair frame with a myriad of different bases, rattan, cord and others.