Computers and technology let designers do things that were unimaginable just a decade ago.
TreeHugger has long been obsessed with what we used to call downloadable design or dematerialization which included everything from CNC milling to 3D printing of designs pinged from computer to machine. I have suggested it would change the way we make and buy things: "We will download design on demand. It is like the music for our iPod; dematerialized bits and bytes put together again where we need it, without the waste of a physical intermediary."
That has not quite happened, but designers are using these technologies to design and build things that we couldn't imagine being done with traditional tools. One designer who is really pushing the envelope is Peter Qvist in Denmark.
Peter Qvist has made it his trademark to combine advanced 3D modeling with skilled craftsmanship. He has found that the two different working methods complement each other to perfection. An uncompromising approach to creating unique form furniture has led to the perfect balance of design, functionality and art.
Qvist sketches in 3D. "After the basic shape is achieved the careful job of defining the lines in their entirety continues while maintaining satisfactory joints between the elements." He then figures out a pattern that minimizes waste and mills out the pieces in a CNC machine.
Some have disputed my contention that CNC milling is 3D printing but plywood is just a different 2D medium, built up in layers to make a 3D piece of furniture, just as plastic or metal is built up in layers in a 3D printer. It is simply a different tool.
Peter Qvist strives to unite the sophisticated and adventurous with the simple and elegant. With this unification, Peter's aim is that the viewer/user gets the pleasant satisfaction from the experience of simplicity while being stimulated by their curiosity about complexity.
Fun Fact: I learned about Peter when he contacted me about an April fools' post I did a few years ago about Toyota's housing division to restart H2pia, the hydrogen community. It turns out that he was the designer of those lovely hydrogen powered buildings, from that marvelous vision of the future. More at Peter Qvist