suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
ALEK SA Studio (Aleksandrina RIZOVA): The table was conceived as a bespoke piece of furniture for a private client in Chelsea, London. The concept was to bring the tectonics of nature into their home whilst also being at the forefront of fabrication and design.
Made from CNC-milled walnut top and delicate 3-D prototyped legs, the “Transitional Fields” table is dynamic, structurally challenging, and inspiring. The project is envisaged as a spatial construct informed by the extensive use of emerging digital fabrication tools.
“Transitional Fields” becomes a simulated natural formation which blurs the boundaries between the natural and the man-made. The legs form a hyper-efficient lean structure with minimum weight capable of carrying a heavy piece of natural wood on top.The table performs in a natural-synthetic mode emphasised through the materiality between soft and hard, light and heavy.
The design was carefully crafted on the computer allowing for greater precision and perfect fit between the 3-D prototyped legs and the CNC milled top. The use of 3D modelling allowed for easy future design modifications and the potential to produce at various sizes upon request.
A 3-D file of the top was sent to a CNC 3-axis milling machine which produced an identical copy of the 3-D model from a solid laminated walnut block. The top was machined from two sides to achieve the 3-dimensional undulating surface on the bottom. The machining took only 6 hours.
The legs were 3-D printed using SLS rapid prototype machine to its maximum possible size. The 3-D prototype structure consists of 7 components that are seamlessly joined together through precise detailing.
The 3-D model and digital methods of production allowed for great accuracy in the final pieces. The legs were left untreated while the top was carefully hand sanded and finished with a special varnish. The result is a bespoke side table that is not only practical but also emotionally and spatially charged.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
AR: The “Transitional Fields” table was inspired by the phenomenon of forest glade. In this dramatic moment, where light pierces through the trees, a natural yet digitally inspired piece emerges from the landscape. The organic qualities of the table resemble natural branch formations. The piece is light, fragile, and ephemeral. It consists of a complex structural network of interlaced elements that together create an elegant, coherent ensemble.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
AR: Reading: Achim Menges, AD 82, no. 2, “Material Computation: Higher Integration in Morphogenetic Design”; Cecil Balmond), Number Nine: The Search for the Sigma Code and Element; Robin Evans, The Projective Cast: Architecture and its Three Geometries; Carla Lind, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Furnishings. Listening to: London Grammar; Cafe del Mar; and The Temptations. Watching: Oblivion; Her; Samsara; and The Blue Planet.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
AR: Neri Oxman, Kairo Baden-Powell, Chris Wise, Cecil Balmond, Zaha Hadid, Vitra, Robert Scott, UID Architects
Additional credits and links:
More projects by ALEK SA studio, London at [aleksarizova.co.uk]