CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

id cf2011_p170
authors Barros, Mário; Duarte José, Chaparro Bruno
year 2011
title Thonet Chairs Design Grammar: a Step Towards the Mass Customization of Furniture
source Computer Aided Architectural Design Futures 2011 [Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Computer Aided Architectural Design Futures / ISBN 9782874561429] Liege (Belgium) 4-8 July 2011, pp. 181-200.
summary The paper presents the first phase of research currently under development that is focused on encoding Thonet design style into a generative design system using a shape grammar. The ultimate goal of the work is the design and production of customizable chairs using computer assisted tools, establishing a feasible practical model of the paradigm of mass customization (Davis, 1987). The current research step encompasses the following three steps: (1) codification of the rules describing Thonet design style into a shape grammar; (2) implementing the grammar into a computer tool as parametric design; and (3) rapid prototyping of customized chair designs within the style. Future phases will address the transformation of the Thonet’s grammar to create a new style and the production of real chair designs in this style using computer aided manufacturing. Beginning in the 1830’s, Austrian furniture designer Michael Thonet began experimenting with forming steam beech, in order to produce lighter furniture using fewer components, when compared with the standards of the time. Using the same construction principles and standardized elements, Thonet produced different chairs designs with a strong formal resemblance, creating his own design language. The kit assembly principle, the reduced number of elements, industrial efficiency, and the modular approach to furniture design as a system of interchangeable elements that may be used to assemble different objects enable him to become a pioneer of mass production (Noblet, 1993). The most paradigmatic example of the described vision of furniture design is the chair No. 14 produced in 1858, composed of six structural elements. Due to its simplicity, lightness, ability to be stored in flat and cubic packaging for individual of collective transportation, respectively, No. 14 became one of the most sold chairs worldwide, and it is still in production nowadays. Iconic examples of mass production are formally studied to provide insights to mass customization studies. The study of the shape grammar for the generation of Thonet chairs aimed to ensure rules that would make possible the reproduction of the selected corpus, as well as allow for the generation of new chairs within the developed grammar. Due to the wide variety of Thonet chairs, six chairs were randomly chosen to infer the grammar and then this was fine tuned by checking whether it could account for the generation of other designs not in the original corpus. Shape grammars (Stiny and Gips, 1972) have been used with sucesss both in the analysis as in the synthesis of designs at different scales, from product design to building and urban design. In particular, the use of shape grammars has been efficient in the characterization of objects’ styles and in the generation of new designs within the analyzed style, and it makes design rules amenable to computers implementation (Duarte, 2005). The literature includes one other example of a grammar for chair design by Knight (1980). In the second step of the current research phase, the outlined shape grammar was implemented into a computer program, to assist the designer in conceiving and producing customized chairs using a digital design process. This implementation was developed in Catia by converting the grammar into an equivalent parametric design model. In the third phase, physical models of existing and new chair designs were produced using rapid prototyping. The paper describes the grammar, its computer implementation as a parametric model, and the rapid prototyping of physical models. The generative potential of the proposed digital process is discussed in the context of enabling the mass customization of furniture. The role of the furniture designer in the new paradigm and ideas for further work also are discussed.
keywords Thonet; furniture design; chair; digital design process; parametric design; shape grammar
series CAAD Futures
email m.barros@ipt.pt
full text file.pdf (7,355,561 bytes)
references Content-type: text/plain
details citation check to select
100%; open Agarwal, M. & Cagan, J. (1998) Find in CUMINCAD A blend of different tastes: the language of coffeemakers , Environment and Planning B : Planning and Design 25 : 205-226
100%; open Davis, S. (1987) Find in CUMINCAD Future perfect , Addison-Wesley, Reading
100%; open Duarte, J. et al. (2006) Find in CUMINCAD An urban grammar for the Medina of Marrakech , Design Computing and Cognition ’06 : 483-502
100%; open Duarte, J.P. (2005) Find in CUMINCAD A discursive grammar for customizing mass housing: the case of Siza's houses at Malagueira , Automation in Construction 14(2) : 265-275
100%; open Fiell, P. & Fiell, C. (2001) Find in CUMINCAD 1000 Chairs , Taschen, Köln
100%; open Gips, J. & Stiny, G. (1972) Find in CUMINCAD Shape grammars and the generative specification of painting and sculpture , Information Processing 71 Proceedings, North-Holland, Amsterdam : 1460-1465
100%; open Knight, T. (1980) Find in CUMINCAD The generation of Hepplewhite-style chai-back designs , Environment and Planning B : Planning and Design 7 : 227-238
100%; open Monedero, J. (1997) Find in CUMINCAD Parametric Design: A Review and Some Experiences , 15th eCAADe Conference Proceedings : 17-20
100%; open Oates, P.B. (1981) Find in CUMINCAD The story of western furniture , Herbert Press, London
100%; open Stiny, G. & Mitchell, W. (1978) Find in CUMINCAD The Palladian grammar , Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 5 : 5-18
100%; open Stiny, G. (1980) Find in CUMINCAD Introduction to shape and shape grammars , Environment and Planning B : Planning and Design 7 : 343-351
100%; open Stiny, G. (1991) Find in CUMINCAD The algebras of design , Research in Engineering and Design 2 : 171-181
100%; open Stiny, G. (1992) Find in CUMINCAD Weights , Environment and Planning B 19 : 413-430
100%; open Tapia, M. (1999) Find in CUMINCAD A visual implementation of a shape grammar system , Environment and Planning B : Planning and Design 26 : 59-73

last changed 2012/02/11 18:21
HOMELOGIN (you are user _anon_95945 from group guest) Works Powered by SciX Open Publishing Services 1.002