Over the last couple years, I find myself in awe of the young designers who have remained innovative, exuberant, and steadfast during tough challenges within the design industry.
In recent years, the idea of “green design” has been gaining momentum at absurd speed. It is nice that more and more people are beginning to recognize the need for conscious living and conscious choices. A concept that has strength and potential within the design world is that of adaptability. Many things can be adaptable and adaptability can mean many things. One thing is for sure, if something can stay relevant for decades to come, it will remain valued.
conformlab.com stands out in my mind for their ability to see opportunity and use their skills to adapt to the need at hand. Much of their work speaks to the inherent desire to “save” that which someone has discarded and transform it into beautifully simple and modern pieces. In contrast to this desire to salvage and re-purpose valued materials and objects, they seek to design innovative original work that speaks to the dynamism of life. Their work is not for the person who likes their coffee “black” as they say. Their client has passion and ideas, is excited by the unknown, nostalgic of the past, and anything but “beige”.
The Sullivan-Barnes table and chair set is some of their most interesting work. Based on the premise that technology can and should play a role within modern construction/manufacturing, ConformLab used CNC technology to mill sheet material and detail simple compression joints that are expressed throughout the series. With simple finishing, the lines of the plywood contrast with the warmth of Birch plywood. The work is unique and dramatic.
ConformLab mainly operates as a design firm working on custom design projects. Each client is vastly different as is the work.
The Sullivan-Barnes commission was conceived of as a dining set that would accommodate six on an average night, with the ability to sit ten at a gathering. The table changes in form, function, and porosity as it adapts to the needs of family life. The table is fully integrated and is expanded by pulling at each end. The complex mechanical system that serves as central support and operating system is also made solely of maple plywood. One material. One concept.
Table in closed position
Table and texture as shown when partially extended to seat 8 people
Table in fully-extended position to sit 10 people
The undercarriage that supports the table and balances all extending arms.
joinery detail as created by the limits of the sheet material and CNC mill
The detailing that holds the piece together is highlighted on the face of the sideboards, unifying all pieces within the set
Detail on top of Sideboard, secondary material used to display stored relics
The work of ConformLab is humble and honest in both their origin and intentions.
See more of their work at: http://conformlab.com/