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January 26, 2011

Last December, I came across this fascinating article in the Architect's Newspaper that discussed the possibilities digital fabrication brings to the built environment. Since reading the article, "fab labs" and the creations coming out of them keep grabbing my attention. One example is the Triwing chair by Marco Hemmerling. Exhibited at this year's IMM furniture fair in Cologne, the chair is yet another example of what computer-based design and digital fabrication can do.

The two parts of Marco Hemmerling's nesting "Triwing" chair. Photo by Dirk Schelpmeier.
Courtesy of 
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The Triwing chair in profile. Photo by Dirk Schelpmeier.
The Triwing chair in profile. Photo by Dirk Schelpmeier.
Courtesy of 
2 / 4
From chair's design to fabrication, everything was digital. Here, a 3D graph shows some of its underlying principles.
From chair's design to fabrication, everything was digital. Here, a 3D graph shows some of its underlying principles.
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A view showing the bends found throughout the chair.
A view showing the bends found throughout the chair.
Courtesy of 
4 / 4
The two parts of Marco Hemmerling's nesting "Triwing" chair. Photo by Dirk Schelpmeier.
The two parts of Marco Hemmerling's nesting "Triwing" chair. Photo by Dirk Schelpmeier.

Hemmerling's Studio for Spatial Design is "driven by an interest in spatial concepts" and relies on digital design tools and fabrication techniques to execute their concepts. Everything from the chair's design to production was digital.

From chair's design to fabrication, everything was digital. Here, a 3D graph shows some of its underlying principles.
From chair's design to fabrication, everything was digital. Here, a 3D graph shows some of its underlying principles.

The Triwing consists of two seating elements, one nestled into the other—a practical aspect if the chair is to be used in small spaces. It can be used as dining-chair, lounge chair, reading chair or deck chair. The double-curved shape incorporates the ergonomic demands and also makes it more stable.

 

The Triwing chair in profile. Photo by Dirk Schelpmeier.
The Triwing chair in profile. Photo by Dirk Schelpmeier.

Perhaps digital fabrication overly complicates design—we're all familiar with what mid-century furniture designers were able to do by molding and bending wood the old-fashioned way—but it is interesting to see what can be done, even if its just for the sake of just seeing.

A view showing the bends found throughout the chair.
A view showing the bends found throughout the chair.

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