23 Apr 2012 • Chile
Digital Crafting Collection
Variations on new manufacturing techniques proved to be popular at last week’s Salone del Mobile.
Showing at the Ventura Lambrate Lab was Digital Crafting, a small but intriguing collection of furniture by Chilean design studio Great Things to People. While the pieces look – and are in part – handcrafted, they were digitally designed or manufactured before being finished by artisans.
‘Our show was a fusion of digital design and fabrication techniques that use traditional methods from our country,’ says Guillermo Parada of Great Things to People.
Cracked is a flexible honeycomb-shaped shelving system held together with steel strips and magnets. It can be assembled in many different configurations without the use of tools. The Gudpaka lamp is thermoformed in a CNC-cut, MDF mould, but its final coating – made of alpaca wool scraps – is woven by hand.
Meanwhile, a table uses the Suple system – a range of fixing components based on traditional Chilean methods. The Suple connectors are first cast in a 3D-printed mould, then hand-finished.
‘We found that complete digital fabrication isn’t possible in Chile, because there aren’t enough technological resources,’ Parada says. ‘Most of the processes we use require traditional interventions. So we’ve learned to engage in dialogues with carpenters and potters, for example. And they contribute to qualify the product algorithm or DNA.’
Photos courtesy Gabriel Schkolnick.