When aluminium becomes a piece of furniture

Thomas Heatherwick is an English design known for innovative use of engineering and materials in public monuments and sculptures. He founded in 1994 a Heatherwick Studio, a design and architecture studio, where he works. Heaterwick’s most renowned works include the B of the Bang, The Rolling Bridge, East Beach Café and the Seed Cathedral. He also conceived the design for the 2012 Summer Olympics flame cauldron, which features 204 individual “petals” symbolizing each country participating in the games.

Can you imagine aluminuim becomes a piece of furniture? Well, probably no, but it’s possible. And Thomas Heathewick show this in London Design Festival. He presents the world’s first single component of metal furniture extruded by machine. This exhibition includes six extruded, mirror polished, aluminum benches made without fixtures or fittings, which have been produced by the world’s largest extrusion machine.

The resulting extrusions are produced form one billet (a large plug of alluminium which is heated up and pushed through a die) of aluminium. If pieces of the extrusion aren’t used they are melted down and made into further billets. Each aluminium piece has a unique, dramatic form that combines the back, seat and legs into one element.

Following the success of these extrusions, Heatherwick is now working on more commercial products. He uses this process to create components of architectural construction and mass produced seating ranges suitable for contract.