Saturday, January 22, 2011

Air Spheres bench | Richard Hutten | Plusdesign, Italy | 2009

For  a short biography of and more information about Richard Hutten, check out my post of January 16, 2011, the Fruit Tray centerpiece for DMD Designs.

Richard Hutten used rubber coated foam for some of his designs in the early 1990s.  A good example is the Poef-Pouff for Droog Design in 1994 (which will show up in a future post, I’m sure).  The Air Spheres bench was made in small edition for Plusdesign, Italy and launched at Milan Design Week 2009.

Air Spheres bench Image source:  David Report.

A self issued press release describes Plusdesign as not just a physical space, but also a space for reflection and cross-fertilisation between the different worlds and working methods developing at a time when the distinction between artistic endeavour and design is increasingly blurred. The project is rooted in a strong yet open idea of the contemporary, allowing design and art to chime together in new ways. Plusdesign hosts both high profile company products and own produced limited editions.

Plusdesign logo

Besides the stunning look of this seat, the science guy in me is going to have to talk about how the individual spheres are arranged. What is striking to me is how similar the bench is to a lattice of atoms.  It is like many of the “molecular” forms of the 60s and 70s.  The bench features three 5 by 13 rafts of 65 spheres and three 4 by 12 rafts of 48 spheres for a total of 339 spheres in the bench.

Air Spheres bench schematic Looking from the top down, the four nearest spheres touch so that their centers make a square. 

Air Spheres bench schematic

From the front, however, the centers of the spheres make a rectangle, which makes the bench body centered tetragonal

Air Spheres bench schematic

A schematic top view of the bench.  At the right, the top layer of spheres.  At the left, the top layer has been pulled away (dotted) to reveal the second layer of spheres (solid gray). 

Air Spheres benchAir Spheres bench

Image source:  Abitare.com 

Air Spheres bench Air Spheres bench

Left:  an oblique view of the bench.  Right:  the individual spheres.  Image source:  Abitare.com

Many of the pictures in this post came from Abitare, an international design magazine.  It’s a good resource for furnishings and objects, plastics or otherwise.  Click the logo below to be taken to the archive of previous issues of Abitare.

Abitare logo


Retrieved January 10, 2011 from http://www.abitare.it/events/richard-hutten-plusdesign/

Retrieved January 10, 2011 from http://www.plusdesigngallery.it/files/pdf/3403_pressreleaseplusdesign2009.doc

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