From the Archives: The Eames Chair as Sculpture

Matt Compeau and Bi-Ying Miao of Hot Pop Factory

Matt Compeau and Bi-Ying Miao of Hot Pop Factory

 

In 2012, architects Matt Compeau and Bi-Ying Miao, in collaboration with Levitt Goodman Architects, submitted a 3D-printed spinal sculpture using the shape of the Eames chair to the reDesign2012 project at the Textile Museum of Canada. The organic wrapping spiral evokes a number of delicate forms: the shape of a shell’s interior, perhaps, or a sculpture made of twisting flower petals. Having transitioned the adroyt website away from the WordPress platform means that any posts prior to 2018 were shuttered. This is one I feel is a keeper so I’m reviving it to bring it forward.

 

The Eames chair reimagined as a spiral-shaped 3D-printed sculpture.

The Eames chair reimagined as a spiral-shaped 3D-printed sculpture.

 

Miao called the collaboration with Levitt Goodman fantastic because it brought together all of their favorite mediums: 3D scanning, parametric design and 3D printing. The video below gives you a taste of the exploration they undertook during the design process.

 

 

Compeau and Miao are the founders of Hot Pop Factory through which they develop jewelry designs made on 3D printers. The pair comes to jewelry with a different spatial understanding than most accessories designers because their perspective of volume is experiential, as is the case for most architects. Put a bit more simply, they let the process guide them to the final design. Miao told Derek Quenneville of Ponoko blog, “We never sketch it out in the beginning and say it’s going to look like this pixelated thing, or extruded boxes.”

 

Tiny replicas of the Eames chair that were reimagined into a spiral sculpture.

Tiny replicas of the Eames chair that were reimagined into a spiral sculpture.

 

The architects use Rhino and Grasshopper to conceive and manipulate their jewelry designs, the first collection celebrating the beauty of the stratified 3D-printed object and the power of slow accretion. Compeau and Miao declare they are determined to help clients explore the risks and opportunities 3D-printing brings to their industries, and capitalize on them to improve their businesses. From the look of their content, it’s quite clear they could.

Saxon Henry is the founder of adroyt, an author and The Modern Salonnière.