Ran Amitai’s “Nature of Material”

If you’ve ever crushed a Coke can than you have some sense of Ran Amitai’s source of inspiration for “Nature of Material,” a series of lightweight, stackable, and extremely sharp furnishings made from laser cut aluminum sheet. In case you’re inquiring, that last modifier is meant to characterize the clean, seamless look of Amitai’s collection, in contrast to the widespread tendency of the aforementioned empty vessel to develop razor-fined edges when so manipulated. An impressive feat of Nature of Material is that it works with aluminum’s propensity for easy bending without taking it past the breaking point.

“Nature of Material.” Designed by Ran Amitai.

In perfecting the bending process, Amitai, a recent graduate of Israel’s Bezalal Academy of Art and Design, says he made prototypes from paper, which allowed him to examine the folds for structural integrity. Whenever he had doubts about the functionality of a particular shape, he concocted an actual-size aluminum model as a definitive test run. The methodical process ultimately led to what Amitai calls “Bending Molds,” an idealized template for making folds that not only has created the structurally-sound chair, table, and stool seen here, but also established a quasi-automated production method for future projects.

Amitai characterizes the look of the pieces as integral to the production process. He ultimately wanted profiles that synthesized the rigid, angular manipulations of origami with the natural tendency of aluminum to buckle slightly when bent. The upshot is Nature of Material’s confluence of linear and organic forms. Amitai characterizes this aspect as the natural “Side effects of stretching and bending… I am folding the legs of the objects and the surface above reacts naturally to the folding act. This integration between the strict and natural folds creates a steady construction from one hand and soft, organic, upholstery like shape from the other hand.”







It also creates an auspicious new collection from a budding new designer. Combining aspects from several spheres of A and D (George Rice’s Laser Cut 4-Fold Table, James Dieter’s Origami Chair, and Andy Kem’s Breakplane come to mind), “Nature of Material” is an intriguing study of the relationship between production process and ultimate form, materiality and aesthetic ideal.

Via Contemporist.

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