While we all love artisanship and the human touch, there is no denying that modern materials and manufacturing techniques have changed the face of design forever. One of these is carbon spinning, using that super light , super strong material to create objects impossible with out it. Danish designer Mathias Bengtsson has used carbon spinning to create a bench that boggles the mind not only aesthetically but also on an engineering level.
Spun is a hoop of woven carbon, snaking its way through the Industry Gallery in Washington D.C., creating benches and at the same time an arresting sculptural piece. This bench forms only part of a show of the designer’s cutting edge works. Other benches made from the same cutting edge carbon spinning technique are also featured in the exhibition.The smaller benches and chairs were born a decade ago. But the megalithic figure-of-8 bench was made for this exhibition specifically and shows the possibilities of carbon fiber to the full. The exhibition also contains decidedly graphic and sculptural chairs from the Slice the designer’s collection. The chairs are made from alternating black and white sheets of laser cut aluminum and wood. While laser cutting has become quite commonplace, Bengtsson was instrumental in popularizing the technique in furniture design, and even now are superior to the often very two dimensional pieces created by other designers.
Bengtsson believes that much design nowadays is created without soul and ambition, and one would be inclined to agree with him. But thankfully there are a few out there pushing design forward and creating new possibilities.