Transform (Shape Changing Furniture) by Hiroshi Ishii
2014 - 2015, Platinum A' Arts, Crafts and Ready-Made Design Award Winner
Transform was supposed to echo the concept of Amazing in Motion, a core message for Lexus International, the collaborator on this project, by fusing technology and design to celebrate its transformation from a piece of still material to a dynamic machine. In parallel with Lexus philosophy of intriguing elegance through careful juxtaposition of opposing elements, the aim of Transform was to inspire viewers though its unexpected transformations and aesthetics of a complex machine in motion.
Transform fuses technology and design to celebrate the transformation from a piece of static furniture to a dynamic machine driven by streams of data and energy. The furniture is comprised of three dynamic shape displays that move over one thousand pins up and down in real-time to reshape the tabletop into a dynamic, tangible display. The kinetic energy of the viewers, captured by sensors, drives the wave motion represented by the dynamic pins.
Design Challenges
Furniture design typically focuses on the aesthetics of the surfaces of still objects. In contrast, dynamic engines possess a beauty in the movement of the machine, which may not be compatible with the beauty of still objects. For Transform, the three shape-changing engines were integrated into a table without covering any of the components to reveal the moving parts of the machine. The goal was to create tension and contrast by juxtaposing the visible pistons and wiring, which represent the machine's blood vessels.
Production Technology
The design challenge was to strike a balance between two very different requirements: technical constraints to house the engines composed of 1,152 actuated pins and motors, and communication of the high level concepts of the collision and fusion of design and technology through unique aesthetics. The final Transform construction was made from a laminated and painted MDF structure, aluminum base and external supports, and a corian top. Transform is a modular construction that can be easily assembled and disassembled.
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