Lounge Landscape

The Lounge Landscape project was instigated by the universities’ commission to design and manufacture seating furniture for its 175th anniversary celebrations reflecting the school’s design and prototyping expertise. In collaboration with the relevant manufacturing industry the project commenced with the development of a novel composite material system consisting of a 3D spacer textile sandwiched in a stressed glass fibre skin. The non-elastic textile’s capacity to differentially stretch and contract through geometric deformation offers the possibility to articulate double curved surface without the need for seams or cut patterns. This specific material behaviour was encoded in a custom-programmed analysis application linked with form generation processes based on mathematical equations. This enabled a morphological evolution of iteratively testing and evaluating parametric variants of the mathematical definition based on the innate possibilities and constraints of the 3D textile to form seamless double curved surfaces. The resulting form was CNC manufactured as a “mother mould” facilitating the production of a multitude of individual, geometrically different furniture morphologies all remaining to be material specific and stackable. More importantly, this integral approach to form, material, structure and manufacturing also provides an inroad for rethinking surface articulation as a means of differentiating possible body-surface interaction. Each Lounge Landscape furniture piece provides for a multitude of anticipated as well as divergent activities by up to 7 people at a time. The open-endedness of possible uses and loose-fit ergonomics, and the concurrent erosion of clearly demarcated functional zones of more conventional seating furniture, demands a conscious (re)positioning of the user within the landscape-like articulation and its micro social context prompting an intensified individual and collective experience.

Department of Form Generation and Materialisation, HFG Offenbach
Project Coordination: Prof. Achim Menges
Project Team: Nicola Burggraf, Susanne Hoffmann, Steffen Reichert, Nico Reinhardt, Yanbo Xu