Porosity Bench by Steven Holl Architects



Design Miami/Basel 08: Here are a few snapshots from the Johnson Trading Gallery in New York, showing a prototype for a bamboo bench designed by Steven Holl Architects.


The photos were taken just before it was packed up for transportation to Design Miami/Basel which takes place this week (2-5 June) in Basel, Switzerland.


Here are some details from the Johnson Trading Gallery:


Porosity Bench,

Constructed of solid bamboo planes with digitally cut interlocking edges, USA 2008.

Prototype; edition of 10 to follow.

64w x 24 d x 38 h in
162w x 62d x 97h cm





Posted on Monday June 2nd 2008 at 12:05 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • jarmo k

    ouch, they don’t look much comfortable… i wonder if they’re planned to be placed in the porosity block in beijing. anyone know?

  • gaque

    this thing could kill! so spiky, so much…its awfully bench-like.

  • Looks like the world’s first origami bench.

  • Eduardo

    I agree with Chuck, only they didn’t finish folding it!

  • edward

    Curious that the Johnson Trading Gallery could not offer more congenial surroundings for the photo shoot. Will this be architect Holl’s next commission? Craftsmanship is all here and that can’t be judged from a photo, but its an interesting composition nonetheless. Has the point been reached where originality in a useful design is no longer possible?

  • itsme

    Yikes!…stick to Houses, those look really good.

  • zuy

    this bamboo bench it’s a piece of art… => gallery , design Miami Basel
    I’ m agree with Edward, the photo is not great…

  • cpcp

    porosity this, porosity that…

    looks like plywood to me. cant say the design and orientation of those slots does much for its structural strength.

    they do create a nice play of light – the shadows are awesome!

  • cpcp

    its growing on me!

  • Fling

    Mess is Lore.

  • Bioz

    To much focus on the back , . im thinking lack of design

  • brandon

    that thing sux, on multiple levels.

  • Gabs

    It’s very sad that the complexity of the concept of porosity and what it implicates is very often misunderstood into anything with holes in it.

  • Gabs, u rock!

  • t

    architects – producing furniture?

    what will happen to all the furniture designers/makers?

    may be they designed/produced the bench with a furniture maker?

    or perhaps they will translate (some of )the form etc into a building?

    not sure how i feel about this (may be it was just a “too good to be true” project they got offered?)

  • edward

    A visit to the architect’s web site, under product design, will reveal several furniture pieces utilizing the porosity theme. Interestingly the original concept for the piece under discussion, was conceived in brass with a linen covered cushion. Even more interesting, is the parti of porosity as applied to the firms master plan for the MIT campus.


  • thedrizzle

    architects – producing furniture? no way!! it IS way too good to be true!!

  • apiss

    oh my god… this is bad…

  • cpcp
  • GO Architects!

    porosity, schmorosity. Looks hideous.

  • norm

    Wow, image trying to dust that thing…..a great design is easily cleaned. It must be art – ready to go to auction after a couple of years someone will pay $20,000 for it. It only takes one fool, actually two, one to bid against the other……..

  • Kez

    t Says: “architects – producing furniture?”
    Sorry t, do your homework, architects have had their input in furniture design forever…

  • Név*

    #to all who complained about architects designing furniture:
    remember Marcal Breuer, Frank Gehry, Le Corbusier,…?

    And I believe nobody has to worry about that piece is uncomfortable as it not meant to be mass produced, it’s rather, as norm said, just a piece of art, than a furniture.

    And anyway, Steven Holl rocks

  • t

    Kez & Nev* – fair criticism of my comment, especially with regard to Marcel Breuer, Frank Gehry, Le Corbusier etc, i didn’t mean to complain, just comment on the piece (just my personal view of it) and possibly raise a couple of questions.

  • thomas

    if architects can design complex systems they can design furniture….. go into any fancy hotel entrance and im sure you’ll find one of mies’ or corb’s chairs on display

  • hendrix

    can you actually sit on this thing?


    Beautiful use of material, excellent craftsman ship, but M. Holl may want to calm down for his next piece. This seat is like an attack on the senses.