As explained in the project explanation; material's unique visual properties, physical characteristics and manufacturing limitations were challenging.
Xilith is the raw material that is very hard and fragile. Therefore the tile's dimension 5x5 cm is the maximum still acceptable dimension for manufacturing since the material itself is very difficult to be manufactured and shaped.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The 5x5 chair is a typical design project where the limitation is recognized as a challenge. The chair's seat and the back are made of xilith which is very difficult to be shaped. Xilith is the raw material that can be found 300 meters under the ground surface and is comined with a coal. But it is nither the coal nor the wood. Currently the majority of the raw material is thrown away. From environmental point of view this material generates waste on the earth surface. Therefore the idea about chair design seemed to be very provocative and challenging. The scientific methods of the material's final surface treatment have been explored so if applied properly the final look can be close to that of ebony.
Each chair is unique as neither two tiles look the same. Therefore the chair can have more brown or more black look depending on the tiles collected together.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
It enables very comfortable and ergonomic sitting.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project started in May 2008 and finished in October 2008 in Slovenia. It was exhibited at several exhibitions like
- Month of Design, October 2008, Ljubljana, Slovenia
- Reader-friendly Design, January 2010, Ljubljana, Slovenia
- The Design Assembly, May 2010, Graz, Austria
- IDEA Award Winners and Finalists exhibition, August 2010, Henry Ford Museum, Michigan USA
- Charm of wood, spring 2011, Ljubljana, Slovenia
- Ambient, furniture fair, October 2013, Ljubljana, Slovenia
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
- metal tub legs, surface nickel treated
- seat and back support made of laser cutted metal sheet, surface nickel treated
- Xilith tiles, cut, surface treated with linseed oil;
tiles glued on metal sheet surface
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Width 470 mm x Depth 540 mm x Hight 840 mm
xilith, tiles, metal, elegant, thin, material innovation, experiment
It was all about experimental work with this unique material. The scientific methods of surface treatment were examined years before within Biotechnological Faculty, University of Ljubljana. If the surface is treated properly, the outcome look is similar to ebony.
Material's unique visual properties, physical characteristics and manufacturing limitations were challenging.
The design challenge was simply how to make a chair from little tiles? how to connect them? How to make the underneath seat's metal sheet stiff but yet almost invisible, thin.
TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
Barbara Princic, designer and Mr. Miran Drac, technologist
Images No.1-5, photographer Miha Benedicic, 5x5 chair, 2009.