We, Saudi’s end up sitting on the ground every time though there is a typical seating device in the living room. This sparked my curiosity, and inspired to create a the living room that is intuitive for us.
El Masnad design embraces the floor as a living space and it celebrates the Middle Eastern leisure culture.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Armrests, traditionally, initiates nodes where the space is highly activated in Saudi Arabia. El_Masnad uses armrest as the main component for seating unit and neglect all other parts of a seating device. El_Masnad brings the users close to the ground, so it is much more playful and intuitive for this demographic. It allows the Sitting behaviors to emerge organically and intuitively in many different configurations.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The development of new technologies, like tablets, eliminates the need for seating units in the living room to face t.v. wall. Therefore, the layout of El_Masnad coming together, is not oriented and does not have a direction. It integrates multiple users doing different activities.
El_Masnad is close to the ground, so it is playful and intuitive for this demographic. It makes the space feels higher.
Sitting behaviors emerges organically and intuitively in all different situations. In addition, the users intuitively adapt new sitting position as time goes by.
El_Masnad emphasizes the front angle for reclining instead of what is typical of using the side angle to address the variable reclining angles.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
el-Masnad was made for a thesis study at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, U.S.A. It was part of the Master program in Environmental design, in Furniture and Fixtures track.
Thesis started with winter term of 2014 and ended by the end of the Spring 2015. The first prototype was presented at the graduate show on April 18th of 2014.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
5-axis hot wire milling for filling foam.
CNC stitching on felt for generated pattern design.
The upholstery roll up around the foam like the traditional way of rolling a carpet. Felt was used as contemporary alternative material for traditional wool carpets.
El_Masnad is not made of any hard material that may create an obstacle in the space. It rather made with soft materials where circulation can take place.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
For one set, a pair of two pieces: w 335cm X d 180cm X h 30cm
For two sets, two pairs of two pieces, four pieces: w 470cm X d 180cm X h 30cm
Weight: 12 kg
outdoor, livingroom, carpet, local
Perception of Saudis: The appropriate perception of personal space in the Arab world is when there is a strong eye and physical contact while conducting conversation, therefore, the pieces fit together, interlocking making contact easy and intuitive. Arab appreciate complex geometrical forms, and a boxy forms may look naïve, Therefore, the traditional armrest outline was converted into an irregular polygon. Arab view forms with considering the harmonious interplay of forms, so the perception of balance is achieved when two of non-linear El-Masnad are put together.
One of the most difficult challenges was finding Saudi women willing to participate in taking pictures. The Second challenge was to see the demographic dramatic lifestyle changes as an outsider, which is critical to synthesize the research findings for the design outcome. Lastly, was Understanding the relationship between the designers, makers and consumers.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
Sana Alabdulwahed, 2015.