Are Computers Creating Your Office Furniture?


These days, all manufacturers regularly use CAD and other design and manufacturing software to create office furniture. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t have the chance to enjoy delightful new workstation tools or the latest ergonomic task chairs. But some companies are taking this practice to a whole new level. At the “Contemporist” website, you can see a fantastical set of sculptural office furniture developed by HWCD in Shanghai, China. The architecture and design firm uses parametric and generative modeling techniques, CNC (computer numerical control) and laser cutting machinery to develop the concept, design in detail, do construction analysis, and handle post-production in a single step. In other words, they are perfecting the product and preparing to produce it while they’re still brainstorming the initial design. Even 10 years ago, this probably wouldn’t have been possible. So, computers are definitely changing the way office furniture comes into being.

What’s the result? A reception desk that resembles a giant fish skeleton. That sounds like a design that would stink, but it’s actually quite elegant. The individual ribs lend the bulky piece a delicate air that’s inviting and appealing. We’re just wondering how difficult it would be to clean up if someone spilled a cup of coffee on it…


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