By studying from a semiotic point of view the actual trend of nomadic life, I realised (after have experienced it in person), that every time we change the place we live in, we adapt our way of living according to our new landlord's taste and habits. I designed a system made of simple elements, that will allow every "wanderer" to transport, assemble and disassemble a personal item(such as a chair) everywhere he goes, with the arrangement, the materials he prefers and the cost he can afford.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Even though la Smilza looks like it has a very fragile structure it is mathematically safe. It can be considered a spacial reticular structure and it responds to the physical principle of levers. The frame is made of broomsticks and PLA 3D printed joints; according on how the joints are placed, the structure reacts to different force strength. In fact, the chair is designed to be unique and personal, built on the owner's needs and anatomic features. Two elements-many structural arrangements.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
La Smilza is designed to travel with its owner and reborn every time he changes home. Since today is extremely easy to find broomsticks or 3D print objects everywhere in the world, the user can bring with him only some pieces of his chair and leave the ones he does not need behind. Doing so he will travel lightweight but he will always have the possibility to rebuild his personal chair. Every piece of the chair is made of a distinct material easy to bin and recycle.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project started in December 2014 in Turin and finished in July 2015. With this project I graduated as a Product Designer.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The joints' design has been realised by using 3D modelling software, considering feasibility and structural criteria, it is designed to contrast the force imposed on the wooden frame by the person's weight. The joint can be printed with very basic 3D printers in different materials and depending on the material with different density. The most efficient way of printing the joints is upside-down, in this way, possible fractures due to the layers' orientation are avoided.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
8 Broomsticks (220 mm diameter) cut in 12 pieces: 2 anterior load-bearing legs (650 mm), 2 posterior load-bearing legs (960 mm), 8 horizontal reinforcements (600 mm). 2 pieces of rope 3m each. 26 Screws (8 mm head, 20 mm pace). 10 3D printed joints (100 x 100 x 70 mm). Seat: 2 pieces (h 550 mm, l 450 mm, L 500 mm). Since La Smilza is a customisable product, a physical package does not exist: you choose whether to buy your broomsticks at the supermarket or do otherwise, same freedom with the rope. You should be able to download all the files in order to 3D print and laser cut wherever you like.
chair, joint, broomstick, rope, knots, 3Dprinted, product, lasercut, readymade, design, wood, customisable, transportable
La Smilza is the result of a socio semiotic research combined with a technical one. Uncountable typologies of chairs, able to satisfy all kind of desire, already exist. Nonetheless, the current massive industrial production generates every day new products that will be stored in warehouses until the sale. To face what I believe an unjustified consumption of energies and resources, I tried to find an alternative solution that would confer to every item its effective importance, in terms of economical and ethical relevance. To find a fulfilling solution I studied the industrial evolution, identified those I considered being its failures and, by standing on our present technological possibilities and cultural principles, I tried to propose a more responsible, forward-seeing conduct to be adopted during the design process. By democratising the productive process through 3D printing and other rapid prototyping techniques, awareness of effort and risks will be reached by those who have, until now, been extraneous to the production process. Contrary to the industrial production, a result obtained with personal effort will increase value and affection towards objects, by modifying socio economical and cultural impact of products.
I had to face a conceptual issue and a technical problem. I have been asked to design a chair, which is the most abused concept in the design landscape. Every day we are surrounded with a thousand of new concepts, it always becomes more difficult to design innovative, brilliant and communicative products, especially when it comes of chairs. Also, I had to consider many challenging structural factors such as weights, bending strength and resistance, aesthetics combined with structural solidity, printing orientation, PLA robustness.
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