Monday, September 24th, 2012
By Gem Barton
Now in it’s 6th year at the Truman Brewery, Tent London is one of the largest design trade shows, hosting 200 international exhibitors across furniture, lighting, ceramics, textiles and accessories. This past weekend, over 19,000 international trade buyers, high caliber specifiers, opinion forming media and design savvy consumers from around the world attended the four-day event. One of our faves from the most cutting-edge and progressive trade exhibition at the London Design Festival was Martijn Rigters, third year student at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, The Netherlands. We asked Rigters a bit about himself and his latest project which shapes and designs a fully fabricated seat in just fifteen minutes.
What's your design statement? In my view, mass production has its benefits in terms of efficiency, but also results in every object being unpleasantly identical, lacking charm and ultimately, not contributing to what is key to design: individuality and personality, both by designer as well as possessors. To overcome the paradox, I developed an innovative flexible molding technique based on mass production technology, to create made-to-measure foam seats. Standardisation is thereby combined with differentiation.
What did you show at LDF12?
The project is called Foam Party. During the London Design Festival I produced a series of seats on the spot. Using the human body as a living mold; visitors will be asked to co-create the seats by becoming part of the installation. After a short production time of less than fifteen minutes, a fully fabricated seat is shaped and designed.
What is unique about you and/or your design practice?
I utilize the human body as a design tool. Combined with the design of the mold and the characteristics of the material, it is the most important parameter of the process.
Since each body has a unique shape, it provides me–in theory–with over seven billion different molds. As the population on earth is increasingly growing, I tapped an almost unlimited supply of molds, and thus an unlimited supply of products.