Nui X-Hale (Bookshelf) by Jaime Rosales
2016 - 2017, Golden A' Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design Award Winner
The fact that woodwork is, to this day, bound by the same methods that have been used for centuries namely: traditional joinery, nails, screws and adhesives was a compelling rationale for innovation. Our objective was to expand the range and versatility of wood through a safe, functional and user-friendly interconnection system. This vision intends to make wood more accessible to a wider audience, by offering a more practical and interactive user experience. Through this natural user interaction wood can finally become a creative medium. One that can be easily configured and iterated through simple, structurally sound manual connections, which can be pressed into place without the need for tools. Environmental sustainability was also an important imperative that informed every facet of development. For our team, it was crucial to attain optimal wood use, through a substantive reduction in the volumes and dimensions required for woodworking, while achieving equal or superior structural profiles as compared to conventional connecting techniques.
NUI is a nascent, wood-specific, modular assembly system, comprised of a growing number of polymer connectors designed to create diverse structural, dimensional & spatial configurations. The vision is that, in time, this expanding universe of interconnecting components, conceived to create, high-quality, solid wood products can be use to fashion any and every design configuration imaginable. For this bookshelf application, the connectors that are showcased, grant unparalleled integrity to load-bearing wood designs that otherwise, would not be feasible via traditional means. Moreover, the system allows for easy assembly and disassembly through, simple & safe, locking and unlocking mechanism. This enables reusability for seamless reconfigurations, allowing the user to make aesthetic and dimensional adjustments, to suit ever-changing design needs and preferences.
Design Challenges
The challenge was to find solutions to the limitations inherent to wood, as a raw material, that relate to joinery. Arguably, wood is widely considered as the preeminent building material due to its endless applications and advantages. However, joining is certainly not one of them, since wood is prone to constant dimensional changes. Over time, these variations tend to undermine joints and ultimately, the structural integrity of a design assembly. Consequently, the challenge was to develop a wood-specific, interconnection system that resolve these shortcomings and thus: facilitate assembly, enable disassembly, offer locking and unlocking mechanisms for each connection, while improving its structural profile and performance. In time, the net effect should render screws, nails and adhesives redundant, while also minimizing wood requirements.
Production Technology
The development process used our in-house 3D design, 3D printing and CNC capabilities which were crucial for concept validation, iterative prototyping and precision cutting. Exacting accuracy was vital from: 3D prints, intricate CNC cuts, to crafting demanding wood elements with challenging wood species. Our superb R&D team, comprised of engineers, architects and expert craftsmen were the true artists who made the technology work in concert, under demanding timelines, with great mastery of the process, to achieve and surpass our self-imposed metrics and expectations.
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