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- Start of Section Two Section two further develops some of the ideas discussed in section one as well as continued research into existing designs and concepts relevant to this research project. The aim of this section is primarily to refine the research question and to begin prototyping scale models that express ideas generated from the research.

2.1 Research

End of Section One

(opposite) Sketch Chair by Diatom Studio “Digital manufacturing processes open up a world of opportunity for producing unique individualised objects, but we think there is a lack of accessible digital tools that allow anybody to use these processes to design and make their own functional, personalised products. We hope that SketchChair will give anybody the opportunity to design a unique one-off original chair that is personal to them.” text and image source:

(above) The UNICEF Brick “The UNICEF Brick is a construction concept inspired by toy building blocks that can help third-world residents in emergencies. Each block has two compartments that are initially filled with food and water. Once the contents have been consumed, the UNICEF Brick can then be filled with sand, soil or rocks and easily stacked upon each other to build a shelter.” Text and image source:

(opposite) Speaker Chair by Davone Ray image source:

(above) Modular Furniture Concept by Sanjin Halilović source:

(above & opposite) WALLFA by Jordi Canudas “WALLFA is a 2-sided piece of furniture that is both a wall and a sofa combined. WALLFA is made from a stretchy membrane type of material that allows the users the ability to sit on either side for simple relaxation or communicating with friends or co-workers� text and image source:

(above) Laptop Lounge Chair by Rasmus Fenhann image source: Chair_by_Rasmus_Fenhann.html

(above) MUR-01 rocking chair from Irisohyama only 8.6 watts! thats simmilar to small computer speakers! The design for my speaker chair if it goes ahead would be over 350 watts (rms) image source:

(above) FALLEN TREE BY BENJAMIN GRAINDORGE This is a perfect example of where someone has used a contradiction in a simple and elegant way in a furniture setting. Although here the contradiction is made between nature and product as a statement piece I would be aiming at a more contextualized furniture piece. “The Fallen Tree bench is intended to reveal the wood’s DNA, to express it’s deepest nature by attempting to highlight the living fibre it is made of. I want to expose and bring it to life to reveal it’s primal identity: strong, indomitable and above all magnificent.” says Graindorge. image and text quote:

(opposite & below) Polygon Chesterfield by Christian Fiebig Gives a good interpretation of what digital design is. Image source:

(below) Sasa Clock by Thorunn Arnadottir image source:

(above) Fallen Chair by Tim Mak Cool I have added this to my research and inspiration image cloud because of three reasons. Firstly it highlights the importance of contantly re evaluating products and activities and creating innovitive and new outcomes for age old prolems. Secondly it demonstrates the differences in cultures, and finaly it then takes these differences and finds a common ground in which the two cultures can both exist. This concpet is very much related to what I am doing in my own research. image source: en-chair-by-tim-makcool.php

(opposite) Inception Chair by Vivian Chiu “Taking the chair archetype and placing within it chairs that are progressively smaller. Each chair has hand cut grooves on the inside edges of its seat frame as well as notches in the seat back. These grooves range from 1/2” wide to 1/8” wide. The mechanism works so that the pegs fit into the grooves of the chair one size bigger and slides into place so that the horizontal edge between the chair seat and back line up. The simple mechanism allows the chairs to be taken apart and put together with ease.” Image and text source:

(above) PLAY With Dedon Chairs by Starck & Quitllet Philippe Starck presents the customizable PLAY chair-armchair, “the fruit of two opposing yet interchanging design concepts. It marries the high technology of a moulded polypropylene and fibreglass frame with the unique style of chairs and backrests handcrafted by master artisans. source: Image sources::

(above) Modular, adjustable ceiling lighting examples on the market The spider cam technology is something that is quite different to all of these examples and definatly begins to bring a digital aspect to a space, especialy relevant becuase of its references to CAD and 3D rendering programs where lights are moved in a rigid x-y-z axis and float in space. Image sources::

(below) TĹ?hoku Japanese Earthquake Sculpture| Luke Jerram

(above) Mikakure by Koki Yoshida source:

“The boundary between a walkway and an adjacent artificial pond was chosen as the location for the work. This interface between “liquid” (water) and “solid” (land) was thematically used and augmented by the question of “real” (water ripples) and “virtual” (artificial light waves).”

(above) Thomas Feichtner’s M3 Chair chair_20815.asp

(opposite) Duality by Art+Com This is a project by Art+Com that I have studied before, and only just realized it is a perfect precedent for my project. Along with some of their other projects such as Grasp Pendulum, BMW Kinetic Sculpture and Mobility this installation involves the marrying of the two concepts of digital and physical. Duality is especially effective in doing this as the two concepts are “telling the same story” as with the digital/analog clock I explored earlier in this research. This two sided story is what I am still trying to find in my own research, both the context of the story and the story itself. text and image source:

(above) Dock by Alexandre Pain “Dock is the result of designer Alexandre Pain’s reflection on the themes of simplicity and lightness. The stripped-down side table avoids glue, screws, and dowels and instead uses elastic bands and tension to fix the legs to the body. The unconventional construction not only cuts back on hardware costs but also means that assembly and disassembly can be repeated without compromising quality. “ Text and image source:

Stork Desk by Nando Schmidlin “a small home office solution for your small apartment. Simply len the desk against a wall, and, voila, you end up with your own personal, and highly portable, home office.” Text and Image source: storch-desk-by-nando-schmidlin-is-best-friendswith-the-wall.html

(above) Haptic Intelligentsia by Joong Han Lee “Haptic Intelligentsia merges hand craftsmanship and computerized technology into a single 3D printing machine that allows the user to tactually perceive a virtual object before transforming it into a physical one. The user can freely move the extruding gun, which is attached to a haptic interface. When the tip of the gun is moved into a surface region of the virtual object, the interface generates forces under computer control, allowing the user to feel and touch the surface of the object. Without looking at the computer screen, the only way to visualize the virtual object is to pull the trigger and extrude the material along the feedback surface. The results are always unique and different, depending on how each user responds to the machine’s guidance. The sense of touch is no longer present in our current screen-based interface. Haptic Intelligentsia humanizes the 3D printing process, bringing the user a tactile relationship to the virtual object.” Image and text source:

(above) Wall Chair by Chao Huang Similar to Nando’s Stork or Storch Table, this uses the wall as its support. I can tell if this chair is fixed to the wall or portable. I feel that this design contains huge potential but is lacking the elegance of Nando’s version. Perhaps I can further develop this direction and combine a digital element to it? Source:

(above) Peg By Studio Gorm Very beautiful design, the simplicity and aesthetics used here are similar to those that I want to develop in my own research. Though this particular example is not digital in the standard definition of the term, the projects modularity and storage does have some references to digital ideas. Image source:

(above) DIY RGB LED Color Table by Edo Using an Arduino chip Edo has created a 64 pixel table, along with the rainbow function shown in the image the table also response to tipping and music via an accelerometer and microphone attachments. The programing and installation of something of this degree is not beyond my grasp and if I were to go in this direction there is also perhaps the possibility of a collaboration with Craig Onslow a Researcher at the main campus. Image source:

(above) Construction Quilt by Studio Gorm “was designed as simple multifunctional interior piece that can be transformed into a toy by children. it works as a carpet, a couch cover and can be converted into a landscape for toy cars or fort to play in. it works off of a simple grid of triangles made of dense foam covered with wool felt.� Image and Text source:

(opposite) Kinetic sculptures by Theo Jansen Although very mechanical these works by Theo Jansen are incredible. The mechanism that permits the movement is actually very simple in concept but getting the right proportions to bear weight is very difficult. This could make a wonderful coffee table, desk or even chair, especially when combined with electronic & digital controls, such as a return home button to bring all the chairs neatly back under the table. Perhaps though is too much of a mechanical system to be a true combination of digital & physical. “Theo Jansen, a Dutch Engineer, something like a hero of combining art and engineering. He came into the public’s focus through a South African BMW commercial. After that, he has been invited to all major intellectual conferences, explaining his work. And it’s truly impressive. Using simple plastic tubes, he has been developing mobile kinetic constructions. Through using the principals of evolution, Theo Jansen was able to find the perfect proportions to allow his creations to walk, powered by wind only..” Image and Text source:

(above) LittleDog by Boston Dynamics “LittleDog is a quadruped robot developed for research on locomotion. It is utilized to probe the fundamental relationships between motor learning, dynamic control, perception of the environment, and rough terrain locomotion. LittleDog has four legs, each powered by three electric motors, which deliver a broad range of motion and workspace, including climbing. The onboard PC-level computer has sensing, actuator control and communications. LittleDog’s sensors measure joint angles, motor currents, body orientation and foot/ground contact. Control programs access the robot through the Boston Dynamics Robot API. Onboard lithium polymer batteries allow for 30 minutes of continuous operation without recharging. Wireless communications and data logging support remote operation and analysis..” Image and Text source:

2.2 Sketching

2.3 Scale Prototyping

(below) Mouse Chair This Concept is focused on the idea that an object, such as a chair, can explore a given space in a 2d orientation can be mapped in a similar way a computer mouse is tracked. The advantage of a chair or table goes beyond the mouse adding a 3rd axis of rotation that a standard computer mouse is not equipped to pick up on. The context of the chair could be anything from an integrated gaming control to assisted computer control. The technology that exist to complete this type of motion tracking is readily available in many different forms including but not limited to: lazer tracking, camera motion tracking, gps, RFID tags, and infared sensors. The output for such a piece could give useful information on movement during an activity, furniture paths, and user habits, as well as more abstract data on various metrics of movement and patterns.

(above) Digital Terrium The digital Terrium is based on the concept of a digital integrated and controlled plant system both to control the watering and growth of real plants and to output this as a digital plant interface. While projects have been done in this area before the integration into a furniture setting is a new avenue. Perhaps also the unit could provide herbs for cooking, compost waste disposal and also a small amount of oxygen and even energy generation.

(opposite & above) Dynamo Chair A Dynamo is a very simple form of electric generator powered through kinetic energy, they have been used in torches, push bikes and even radios. I propose the installment of a dynamo chair. I have observed myself as I sat down into a chair and often it is done with a large amount of gravitational force, especially true for soft couches and armchairs. This energy could be utilized and collected by dynamo generator and used for a number of outputs that only require a small amount of electricity such as, to power a tv remote, LED, or even charge an ipod or cell phone.

(below) Zero Waste Folding Chair This design is perhaps more of an aesthetic design than one that address the research question.

(opposite) Digital Sundial Chair Although the scale model is very rudimentary there is a huge amount of potential in the idea behind this chair.. Originally conceived as a chair covered in LCD panels the concept evolved to project an interactive “shadow� of the chair. This shadow could act as a digital sundial to tell the time. The obstacles of this design are great but if overcome could provide a really beautiful and cleaver conversation of the similarities and contrasts of the digital and the physical especially when the two shadows interact. This is defiantly one of the designs I will be looking at to develop in the next section of the research.

(below) Butterfly Chair A very simple idea based on using the same starting point piece, where one is bent and the other is trimmed. There is also the possibility to become modular when two of the bent sections are used to make a desk or table.

(below) Cantilever Chair This is an evolution of a system I designed for a previous paper and uses principals of friction and cantilever to hold weight in certain ways. Perhaps this could be pushed into a digital form?

(above) LCD Table Designs such as the Microsoft Table and other such concepts are becoming more and more a part of the future of design furniture. The usefulness of having wireless interconnection of devices and objects as well as information at your fingertips need not be pointed out. This digitization of surfaces is not what this research aims at doing, however when this touchscreen based interface goes beyond a 2D surface and becomes much more than it enters the scope of this research. Craig Onslow is a Researcher a the main VUW campus and is developing touchscreen technology and programs. If I were to go in this direction and try to collaborate with him on bringing that technology into functioning furniture it could perhaps be beneficial to both of us.

(opposite & above) Dentist Lamp and Auto Page Turner Either to be used with the Ipad, other e-readers or (most humorously) real books, this is literally a real page turner. This is derived from personal experience that when seated or lying down a comfortable position is never quite reached when two hands are required to hold the book. The inclusion of a reading light and remote makes this lamp the perfect solution.

(below) Tension Chair Similar to the Cantilever Chair this idea is based on methods of tension. Perhaps again this is not so much a combination of the digital and physical but is still a different way of thinking about furniture and about how it is constructed and put together, an important element of this research.

(opposite & above) Theo Jensen Chair A very mechanical concept for either a chair, coffee table or desk, although perhaps it is by very nature too mechanical. I was intending for it to be digitally controlled and contain an interactive robot like quality but as I think about what I have defined digital as this idea drifts further from my research scope.

(below) Double Ripple Chair Directly inspired from Art+Com’s project “Duality” where touchscreen ripples lead onto real life pond ripples. I though this precedent could be uses in a similar way as a coffee table. However although a really good combination of digital and physical it lacks any real context or reason for existence.

(opposite) Speaker Chair The Speaker chair is a concept I have had in mind for a very long time. It has been done before in various sound therapy chairs that are not aesthetically pleasing or suitable in most homes. I feel that there is still a lot of work to be done in the justification of this piece but there is still potential in it as well. This is one of the models that scaled very nicely as I was able to use earphone speakers and actuality have the chair playing music. This is also a design concept that I have tested with is very rudimentary test rig at home and it have thus far proven that music can be felt beyond simply heard. If I were to pursue this path I would have to strengthen the digital side of this concept to really reflect the true focus of this research.

2.4 Conclusions The research has developed well from section one with some strong ideas coming through. Initially I struggled with what digital truly meant both in terms of definition and its application to furniture. In some ways I have had to assume and predict what I see in the future as being fully digital furniture and then pull that back to integrate with a more physical based design. This has been a challenging but very interesting task and one that I hope to continue to explore and I delve deeper into this research. The focus continues to be on clarifying the research focus and question as well as further developing the ideas discussed in this section. I will also be continuing to develop new ideas that both approach the research question and also begin to develop a possible context.

end of section two

Independent Study Stage 2  

Work for Summer Research Furniture Paper