A Chair Is Born
This chair by British designer Thomas Heatherwick is now on view in his show at Haunch of Venison gallery in New York. It uses an entirely new strategy for making furniture: A billet of aluminum is extruded through a die, the way you might shape pasta or Play-Doh. It’s fabulous in how it lets the process of fabrication stay entirely visible in the finished object. And it’s so nice to see a design object that isn’t simply the predictable realization of something worked out completely beforehand: It allows for accidents and extreme irregularities. The only downside to the piece is that it has that futuristic gloss that is the Achilles heal of almost all design that declares itself “modern”. It’s a touch too close to CGI, and to the gloopy mirrored android in “Terminator 2” (made of “mimetic polyalloy,” as Schawzenegger so memorably puts it).
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