Fractal (Floor Seat) by Andrea Kac
2013 - 2014, Bronze A' Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design Award Winner
Inspired by origami, Fractal looks through creases and folds to create a flexible surface that adapts to our body and our activities in a quick and simple way. The presence or absence of "nervations" allows the product to challenge the main characteristics of the material, making them rigid or flexible. It revalues the concept of floor seating, mainly lost in western culture, and yet something so instinctive for children. We grow so used to using solid furniture that our bodies loose the capacity to hold itself comfortably and depend exclusively on them.
Fractal challenges the concepts of contemporary furniture in order to create a more flexible and transforming alternative, that connects better with the user and moves them towards a floor level seating that generates new space configurations. It is a square shape felt seat that does not include any reinforcements or extra support, just with its technology it can support our body when resting. It allows many uses: as a pouf, a seat, a chaise long, and as it is a module it can be assembled with others to create many different room configurations.
Design Challenges
The challenge was to develop a seat made entirely out of textile material, without any extra support. I studied many designs that that used textile backrest, but all used hidden reinforcement. Finding the technology that allowed the material to become stronger only by itself was difficult. The solution was to create an absent nerving that maintained the flexibility of the material and allowed it to fold completely, as when folded is when it becomes stronger. The other challenge was to make it adaptable for all body heights. This is when origami inspiration worked best, as the back rest could fold in or out to adjust to all positions and heights.
Production Technology
100% industrial wool felt 3mm, Gluing adhesive. Three colors: white bone, grey and charcoal black. Production is same as in tapestry, the material is cut and stitched to shape the cushion. The backrest is cut and a second layer of felt is glued to make this part thicker, but allowing gaps in between to create the creases and folds.It also implements techniques from shoemaking, which gives strength to the material and releases the tension on the stitchings.
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