Seoul design studio Useful Workshop has created a furniture series made from sheets of aluminium that are bent to form curves using industrial machinery.
Useful Workshop is headed by designer Sukjin Moon, who worked with a factory in Incheon, South Korea, to realise the Curvature Series using its metal-pressing machines.
The furniture was developed from a prototyping process in which the studio modelled forms by folding paper. Moon realised the shapes created using this method could be scaled up and replicated in aluminium sheets.
“The curvature series is a result of the paper folding practice,” Moon explained. “We discovered a certain aesthetic in a raw stage of the industrial design process and tried to bring it out as it is.”
“After the decision to use the metal-folding process, each curvature, radius and surface was practiced continuously considering the manufacturer’s tooling environment and available tooling conditions.”
The furniture is made by bending flat pieces of aluminium using a press brake machine. These machines typically use a matching punch and die to press sheet metal into the desired shape.
Moon spoke with the factory’s technicians to understand the tolerances of the metal and the machines, before developing furniture with simple curved profiles that can be created by bending the material in even increments.
“Each design has a different curvature and different angles but they all have reasons why,” the designer told Dezeen, “either because of the limitations of the manufacturing or the machine’s size. This means I can’t make very complicated curves.”
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