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  1. How To

    Little Field of Flowers: Die Cutting

    As Boontje’s signature style is often associated with cutouts, Marquina’s solution was a good fit. Sheets of felt from Rajasthan go into a die cutter, which is essentially a combination of a waffle...

    01.01.09

  2. Little Field of Flowers: Weaving
    How To

    Little Field of Flowers: Weaving

    Depending on the size of the rug—they come in three sizes—one or two technicians at SPN operate the loom, which involves painstaking manual labor. “Every two or three lines,” Marquina explains, “we...

    01.01.09

  3. How To

    Cut

    Organic merino wool arrives from Vermont, woven and mounted on rolls over a yard and a half wide. When asked what makes the wool organic, Notkin explains that the sheep grazed on pesticide-free...

    01.01.09

  4. How To

    Prep

    Zippers, buttons, and other add-ons are rendered unnecessary by Looolo’s pillowcase closure system, which uses a tried-and-true technique: overlapping flaps on the back. “Zippers and...

    01.01.09

  5. How To

    Pattern

    Notkin, who started her career making costume jewelry, has a knack for romantically contrasting hues and textures. In fact, her favorite part of the creative process comes before anything is made...

    01.01.09

  6. How To

    Concept

    On every scale, from cottage industry to mass market, production starts with research. Johnstone begins by scouring the globe for team members who have the right skills and design sense to match a...

    01.01.09

  7. How To

    Finishing

    When finishes are chosen and every-one has signed off, the factory line begins to churn. “We do a short production run of about 500 phones,” says Johnstone, “and use them heavily to gather feedback...

    01.01.09

  8. How To

    The Trabecula Bench: Drawing

    Kyttänen’s designs travel straight from his imagination to the computer. “Hardly anything happens on paper anymore,” he says, “because most of the files are so complex that it’s practically...

    01.01.09

  9. How To

    The Trabecula Bench: Slicing

    The design files are sent to EOS GmbH, a Munich-based factory with six different types of laser-sintering machines. Before they begin, a slicing software divides the Trabecula into some 6,000 cross...

    01.01.09

  10. The Trabecula Bench: Sintering
    How To

    The Trabecula Bench: Sintering

    “Sintering” is not an everyday word for most people—it means using laser energy to melt and fuse particles. It’s traditionally applied to metal, but nowadays it works very well on certain varieties...

    01.01.09

  11. The Trabecula Bench: Unpacking
    How To

    The Trabecula Bench: Unpacking

    When the bucket has cooled, it’s time to assemble the pieces. Ahmadou Kaloga, an EOS applications support technician, usually does the unpacking. “It’s like an archeological dig,” says Kyttänen. “A...

    01.01.09

  12. 01 Woodblocks
    How To

    01 Woodblocks

    Woods’s prints begin as marker drawings on acetate. “We have a set of patterns that have been reduced from wood grain,” he says, “and we use them as a library, and change them around. So it really...

    01.01.09

  13. 02 Plywood
    How To

    02 Plywood

    Wrong based his designs on DIY plywood-furniture patterns from postwar Britain. “It’s a very simple message of construction using plywood and turned timber legs,” he explains.“ They’re like...

    01.01.09

  14. 03 Prints
    How To

    03 Prints

    Before the furniture is assembled, each piece is painted jet-black and printed with the CNC-cut MDF woodblocks, which Wrong calls “crude but very effective.” Enamel paint in various shades is...

    01.01.09

  15. How To

    04 Groove

    Once the pieces are assembled, their stepped miter joints are glued together and clamped to dry. Wrong routs a three-millimeter perpendicular groove along every 90-degree corner of each piece. The...

    01.01.09

  16. How To

    Marmol Radziner: Structural Steel

    The first workstation sits just outside the factory’s rear entrance, where deliveries of recycled steel are deposited.

    01.01.09

  17. Rough Frame Construction
    How To

    Rough Frame Construction

    In the third stage of rough frame construction, after painting and prepping, structural insulated panels (SIPs) are dropped in from above and attached to grooves set within the basic frames in...

    01.01.09

  18. How To

    Marmol Radziner: Finish Construction

    Finish surfacing comes next—windows, drywall, cabinetry, ornamental metalwork, tiling, appliances, and fixtures are put into place.

    01.01.09

  19. Marmol Radziner: Homesite Delivery
    How To

    Marmol Radziner: Homesite Delivery

    After completion at the factory, each home is shrink-wrapped and loaded onto a truck for direct site delivery.

    01.01.09

  20. How To

    The 3107 Chair: Prep the Veneer

    In the idyllic Danish countryside, 15 miles northwest of Copenhagen, autonomous robots transport pallets of veneer down the aisles of Fritz Hansen’s 161,000-square-foot chair factory. Nearby,...

    01.02.09

  21. How To

    The 3107 Chair: Glue and Mold

    A worker then places single layers of inner veneer on a conveyor belt that sends them through what looks like a doughnut-glazing machine, coating both sides of the veneer with a white liquid...

    01.02.09

  22. How To

    The 3107 Chair: Cut and Sand

    Once the plywood has hardened, a worker wearing sound-suppressing earmuffs places the pieces, three at a time, into the factory’s computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine. The milling...

    01.02.09

  23. How To

    The 3107 Chair: Paint and Ship

    The discs also serve as hooks for hanging the chairs upside down on a conveyor belt that leads them to a glassed-in room. There, a robotic arm paints the curved surfaces with polyurethane paint....

    01.02.09

  24. Bolle
    How To

    Bolle

    On Murano, an island near Venice, Italy, glass artisans go to work before dawn. Inside one workshop, the kilns have been howling all night, preparing colored glass for the day’s work. In 1921...

    written by: Virginia Gardiner
    photos by: Alex Subrizi
    04.30.10

  25. How To

    Dyson Airblade: Concept

    In 2004, Dyson was exploring new ways to use its patented Dyson digital motor (DDM), which contains a virtually frictionless setup and was developed to make small vacuum cleaners for the Japanese...

    01.02.09

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