Vendôme by Kram/Weisshaar



Vendôme by Reed Kram and Clemens Weisshaar is a family of concrete stools, pedestals and tables that have been designed by a computer programme.



The forms are generated parametrically by software that creates an endless stream of different designs, from which Kram/Weisshaar select a limited number for manufacture.





Moulds for the selected designs are then manufactured by computer-controlled machines.



The project will be exhibited at Design Miami/Basel in June, where Kram/Weisshaar will be honoured as one of four Designers of the Future.



See our previous story for details of the Designers of the Future award and the other winners.




The following information is from Kram/Weisshaar:



Design Miami/ Basel, the most prominent and substantive global forum for historic and contemporary limited-edition design, has named Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram as its 2008 Designers of the Future. On this occasion a comissioned piece of work will be exhibited at Design Miami/ Basel, which will take place in Basel, Switzerland from June 3 – 5, 2008.


Titled VENDÔME this body of work takes a precondition of endless transformation as its point of departure. How to reconcile the conflict between dynamism and stasis, between the transience of software and permanence of concrete?





VENDÔME can be referred to as a logical continuation of their early and crucial project BREEDING TABLES (2003-05) in which Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram paradigmatically outlined their approach of intelligently intertwining product development and media design, while taking advantage of the newest technological possibilities.




The idea of VENDÔME is to parametrically generate a family of objects with different typologies including stools, pedestals and tables of different height. The design is developed within and documented by a piece of software that generates an infinite number of proposals within a defined framework while flexibly reacting to changing parameters (as e.g. the height, width or depth of the object).




The proposals are then singled out and fine-tuned by the designers using the software. By the press of a button a selected geometry can be processed and the geometry for the casting mould is generated and passed on to numerically controlled machines.




The installation will include selected pieces with their wire frames in different states three-dimensionally rendered using woollen string.







Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram create works that expand the intersection between architecture, industrial design, media design, and fashion. With their seminal projects for Prada’s Epicenter Stores in Los Angeles and New York with Rem Koolhaas, and their work for Authentics, Classicon, Moroso and Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg they quickly garnered wide international recognition.






The break-through for Kram and Weisshaar was the BREEDING TABLES. In this project their approach towards intelligently intertwining product development and media design, while taking advantage of the newest technological possibilities, is paradigmatically outlined.


The projects of Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram stand for a new form of integrated product and process development – and thus for a new way of thinking design. The work of KRAM/WEISSHAR is part of the collection of the CENTRE POMPIDOU in Paris, the VITRA Design Museum, Weil am Rhein and PINAKOTHEK DER MODEREN, München.


Clemens Weisshaar was born in Munich. After an apprenticeship as a metal worker, he studied Product Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art in London. After three years as an assistant to Konstantin Grcic, he founded his own office in 2000. Weisshaar lives and works in Munich.


Reed Kram was born in Columbus, Ohio and studied at Duke University and MIT, where he was a founding member of the Aesthetics and Computation Group at the Media Laboratory. Kram lives and works on Södermalm Island in Stockholm.










Posted on Saturday April 12th 2008 at 9:02 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • K. Rimane

    just like a star, a classic is born.

  • Sasha

    years ago brandeis university did the same with evolving forms, but they actually had a purpose which was to move around and like evolutionary transformations the ones that move easier were evolving.
    no big deal for someone who worked for the media lab @ mit, but what is the design purpose of the diferent stool? just to have variations, custom made individual numbered stools? ok.
    interesting thought, but for me a dead end, the mehrwert is missing.

  • bioz segundo

    Kram/Weisshaar are no longer disgners
    ¨¨ pedestals and tables that have been designed by a computer programme.¨¨

    why take the credit of a disgn that istn yours , i can see how u own the credit of the idea for a sofeware that will creat a disgn but , and thats all , it dosent mean you created every thing that will come out of it. its called _a.i._,, created long time ago ,

  • Marcus Des

    I agree with Sasha and Bioz Segundo, it looks interesting as a series of statues but I doubt the usefulness and there’s nothing new about this and no design accomplishment whatever, it’s mostly a gimmick that wil be forgotten soon.

  • STrab

    Well, instead it could be a first step towards the future of design: it’s an experimental project; perhaps now it produced useless stuff, but it sounds like a critical action… A.I. + U.I. = … ?
    We’ll see…

  • leandro locsin

    if saarinen came and preached about the “plasticity” of concrete,
    if freysinnet came and preached about the “fluidity” of artificial stone,
    if kahn came and preached about the “purism” of a material,

    then all will be disappointed to see that Kram/Weisshaar is not so wise to understand the nature of a material. i dont see concrete pushed to its limits but i see fancy moulds instead.

    just a gimmick.

  • Jo

    Japanese Architect Kei’ichi Irie wrote a computer program to design chairs in 1989, Masaki Fujhata, did something similar a few years later for abstract forms. Both did their experiments for very similar reasons to these guys, but with far less sophisticated technology and many less words… it’s a shame the intellectual aspect of this kind of work is is not progressing at the same rate as access to the technology.

  • roger van doort

    The misunderstanding lies probably in the “designed by a computer” – Everybody who knows about computing knows that computer programs don`t design anything but human beings write computer code. In this case very beautiful code that helps the designers generating and dreaming up these creatures from the future. I want one. Or two. Now.

  • michael

    in which context do you expect to use concrete furniture?
    how many people would you need to lift one of those blunt object??

  • kana

    nice presentation, amusing thought, they lack beauty though.

  • julius von waldstein

    a landmark project in a world of glossyness and pretention.
    the beauty is the process. And roughness is real luxury.
    only those who understand that are ready to get it

  • Thinktank GDI [Gottlieb Duttweiler Institut] thinks/speaks of Kram/Weisshaar’s approach as “Technologie wird biologisch und Biologie technologisch” [also see ‘Breeding Tables] in ‘Bang – Die Zukunft der Evolution’ (‘Bang – The future of evolution’).