• form(work) bench

    form(work) bench
    new haven CONNECTICUT

    Yale School of Architecture, critic Ben Pell, thanks to Joshua Rowley

    suckerPUNCH: describe your project.   

    melissa SHIN + william MUDGE : The Form(work) bench was inspired by the unique corduroy-textured concrete walls of Paul Rudolph’s Yale Art and Architecture Building. Each 1/2″ plywood profile fits precisely into the spacing of the wall’s texture (a nod to the original wooden concrete formwork) and articulates a sitting surface for two people. The surface emerges as a thickening of the wall’s sectional relationship between verticality and horizontality, and juxtaposes the roughness of the wall with the smoothness of NURBS surface geometry.

    By locking into the texture of the concrete, the chair and the wall form an interesting symbiotic relationship, where the chair cannot function without the wall, and the wall is otherwise not engaged.

    Each individual leg was flat profile milled in two pieces and biscuit joined to minimize material usage within the 4’x8′ CNC mill bed. The legs were joined to one another with wood spacers that follow the curvature of the form at key stress points.

    sP: what or who influenced this project?

    mS + wM: Paul Rudolph, Gunnar Asplund, Greg Lynn

    sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?

    mS + wM: Ernest Hemingway “A Moveable Feast,” The Books, Wilco, This American Life

    sP: whose work is currently on your radar?

    mS + wM: Greg Lynn FORM, Ball/Nogues, Gage/Clemenceau, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Gramazio & Kohler, Bearth & Deplazes, Herzog & de Meuron


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    • David Says:

      didn’t we get over this technique in the 90’s? This is nothing NEW. I can’t imagine the relief’s in concrete were what inspired this technique. Let’s see something new!! In design of this nature, you have an opportunity to address ergonomics quite fluidly. There’s no reason you should look like you’re in pain when sitting.

    • c'mon Yale Says:

      I agree with Dave, why even mention nurbs? They are pretty irrelevant these days. I hate how architects are using half-baked material ideas and lousy technique to justify making cool shapes. Although calling this cool would be a little bit of a stretch… Ever been to Sciarc kiddies? They are showing you east coast cats up big time. That being said, I do like the idea of interlocking with the concrete ribbing, it’s a nice touch.

    • sciarc, really? Says:

      Yeah sure, there’s no new or particularly interesting technique here, but it’s still a thoughtful and well executed project, which, let’s be honest, is more than I can say for most of the things coming out of Sciarc these days…

    • umm REALLY!? Says:

      How does this chair not show that it’s inspired by the concrete? Why else would you build a chair in sections like that? It’s totally inspired by the concrete, and activates the wall. And it doesn’t look like those people sitting on it are in pain. They look quite content.