Araneo - A playful bench concept
Design by Constantin Boes and Enrico Buongermino.
How is design influenced by the materials used? What effect do associations with materials have on the design approach? And how must stability and construction be considered when you are limited to two materials?
Araneo is a design concept that lives from the idea of restriction. The framework of the project limits the possibilities to a minimum and leaves little room for interpretation. But that's why inventiveness, reduction and cleverness are even more important than with a free design.
The two materials focused on in the design process are metal wire and felt. They both evoke strong associations in the user and have a number of applications in our society. But what happens if they are used together and without the connection to other materials?
Research and problem statement
The idea behind Araneo was to combine the materials in the most beautiful way possible, so that they would not work alone. To create an interdependency of the two, yet so different materials, which at the same time create an inviting seating experience should be the focus of the design process.
The main aim was to get to know the characteristics of the material and to use them cleverly. While wire is mostly used to stabilize, limit or suspend other materials, felt often plays the role of a seat cover or a comfortable covering. In industry, however, felt is also used for insulation or protection.
Construction and use
Araneo consists of a constructive metal frame made of 16mm thick construction steel wire. The frame itself is divided into 2 parts, which are welded together at the statically important points, thus providing a secure and strong connection. The 10mm thick, technical industrial felt has been developed for loads with high tear and tensile forces and therefore offers the perfect basis for a relaxed sitting experience.
The two transversely running felt bands create a straight, horizontal seating surface due to the high tension they exert on the long seat band. This makes Araneo suitable for two people as a bench as well as a couch for one person.
For model building, experiments were carried out on a scale of 1:10 with welding rods of 2mm thickness. For the later strength tests in scale 1:5 3,5mm ST50 steel wire was used. In the final full scale model 16mm ST50 steel wire was used.
In the case of the felt, 2mm thick felt was used for the pre-models of normal felt, 5mm thick for the load tests and 10mm industrial felt is used in the finished product.