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Modern Utility Furniture
Designed By:Dominic Postlethwaite
Commissioned by:Studio Surname
Country by:United Kingdom

This project began as an exploration into the manufacturing process of crush bending. The process is one commonly used in industrial objects, but not usually celebrated as the main feature of a product. I wanted to commend its simplicity functional form and aesthetic beauty by using it as the highlight of each object. I began by conducting a wide variety of tests and experiments using the process, testing various metal sections and crush bending tools in an attempt to further understand the process. Find out its strengths and weaknesses; see what the process lends itself too. From my tests I found the added strength provided by crush bending, allowed for a double ended shelving bracket. Then from this initial shelving bracket I decided to see what other pieces of furniture I could make using the same system that made the bracket. I used the same single tool, bend angle and pre drilled holes, to make stacking stools, bar stools, trestles and the shelves out of 25.4mm x 12.7mm x 1mm mild steel rectangle section. The only difference in each of the products is the width of the body and where the legs are cut. 6mm birch plywood panels (CNC cut) were used to join the crush bent brackets together and to add lightness to the series of utility furniture. This and the proud display of bolts used to join the pieces brought a more coherent design language throughout all the objects. This system made my utility furniture series perfect for mass manufacture, as it is extremely cost effective to produce due to its extremely simple nature and only consisting of three components. Furthermore I used stock material for all aspects of the furniture, this made the series of utility furniture cheaper to produce, which I believe utilises this process of crush bending but also acts as a representation of the manufacturing process - low cost, efficient and tough. The objects in turn place a higher value on low cost materials and a low cost process.