Dec 10, 2009

slender and (but) heavy

This is perhaps a tiny, trivial part of an inspiring conversation we had during our first visit to Kevin Mark Low’s house (the Lightwell House) for project documentation. I was lifting a very slender, traditional looking rattan chair when its disproportional weight surprised me. He then asked: “Why do you think is it so heavy?” I thought (too much) it was a ‘design’ question when the answer was as simple as ‘the reinforcement within is of pre-stressed steel’ I knew, alright.

So I realized.. the weight was not an intention, but a compromise.

I’ve since noticed several chair designs which seem deceivingly thin and light, ie. the very recent chord-chair by nendo in collaboration with maruni, paper chair by Junya Ishigami, and of course the aforementioned rattan chair by Kevin.

chord-chair (for it's members slender like cable chords), by nendo x maruni.

paper chair (for obvious reason, and even with sketches on the white surface), by Junya Ishigami.

By means of concealment by light materials on surface, or by immaterial whiteness of paint finish, all hide under the disguise of the preconception “thinness equals weightlessness”
I personally do like all these chairs, they’re extremely comfortable to look at, and perhaps to sit onto, but I guess there’ll be that faint feeling of disappointment while lifting them.
Websites state their dimensions clearly, but never the weights.

If visual is a realm in which we’d succeeded, how much more time until we conquer mass and thus, weight? Then we can sculpt a thin, slender and paper-weight chair that 'Is what it seems to be'.
I’m looking forward to nano technology; just don’t lose the human touches.



Viagra said...

New materials are becoming lighter, but stronger,am still not very sure how that is done, but am not the type that asks too many questions. If it works, let it be.

afterrabbit said...

Perhaps you are right, although it still doesn't seem to me that those I've encountered really work they way they are meant to, or rather the way I think they are meant to. Ha..

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Elliott Broidy said...

It's kind of retro!


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