Experimental Furniture Design Project
It all began as a serious ergonomic study…
Who knew it’d be a fun way of creating custom furniture and surreal making experience?!
What is the future of furniture design?
Furniture design is one of the most aesthetic focused, traditional sectors of design. However, it has also been one of the most explorative in material usage and form studies. Questioning the future possibilities of furniture, I decided to focus on the idea of user experience. Often times, furniture are to be admired for its form and/ or used for functionality.
I wanted to design for user experience in the making as well as the usage of the object, an interactive furniture experience.
Research 1. Ergonomic study around the human body
Vacuum bag + Packing peanuts + Human body
I began by vacuum-forming a bag of malleable material around a person. The vacuumed vinyl vacuum bag and the packing peanuts were structurally strong enough to sustain the body weight and provide sufficient support. The peanuts were soft enough to serve as cushions and give some flexibility to the seating yet, structural enough to hold the shape. And the sensation of vacuum forming around the body left remarks on every participant. The vacuuming process itself was an unique experience to the sitter and the result was a perfectly comfortable seat.
I wanted to further experiment with lying positions, which made me start creating my own vacuum bags in various sizes and shapes. Experiment continued to identify and utilize the new characteristics of these materials and making methods.
Research 2. Folding + Vacuuming = Structural Support
While experimenting with making my own vacuum bag out of vinyl sheets and vacuum sealant tapes, I explored the different results of the shape of the bag and folding the bags. I made an useful discovery that folding the bag easily adds more structural support by concentrating the peanuts in certain areas. Also, depending on the shape of the bag and the how it’s folded, it resulted variance in the back support, seating bottom, and the seat height.
Along with the comfort and structural potential of the experiment, I was drawn by the visual effect of the vacuum formed peanuts. Staying true to the materials, I decided to take this as the key aesthetic of the final design and accentuate it even further.
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