Living Room Furniture Set, Made of Bulletproof Fiber, Weighs Just 16.5 Pounds
From our friends at Fast Company, "bridging the fuzzy border between design and business."
If your living room went on a crash diet, it'd look 'round about like what you see here. The Light-room, by the staggeringly talented Dutch designer Studio Bram Geenen, is an exercise in exploiting sexy new technology to reduce furniture to mere skin and bones. It includes two chairs, a stool, a table, and a set of shelves that, altogether, clock in at just 16.5 pounds -- that's the average weight of one single chair.
Geenen futzed around with assorted manufacturing methods and materials to keep the pounds off. Take the chair below, which is crafted from Dyneema, a textile used to make bulletproof vests that's said to be up to 15 times stronger than steel on a weight-to-weight basis. By varying the stiffness of the fabric to accommodate different stress points in the chair, he was able to produce a fully functional piece of furniture that weighs less than a MacBook.
This shelving unit is made partly of Dyneema, too. The fiber creates a wire support grid, with a "tensional" diagonal pattern. As a rule, materials dealing with tensional forces can be very thin compared with a material that has to be able to withstand compressive forces. Put another way, the grid's shape means that Geenen can use an ultra-light material (Dyneema) without worrying that the whole unit'll come crashing to the ground under the duress of the collected works of William T. Vollmann.
[The SLS Chair has an open, airy, glass-filled nylon structure that comes directly out of a 3D printer.]
The benefits of featherweight furniture are pretty obvious. It slashes energy consumption during production and transportation, and it won't break your back every time you want to rearrange the living room. Light-room is only a prototype, but Geenen says he's ready to go into production. Check his website for updates.
[Images courtesy of Studio Geenen; hat tip to Daily Icon]
By Suzanne LaBarre at Fast Company