Tuyomyo by Frank Gehry for Emeco



Milan 09: Aluminium furniture brand Emeco will show Tuyomyo, a one-of-a-kind bench by architect Frank Gehry, at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan next week.


The bench will be auctioned in May with proceeds going to the Leslie Gehry Brenner Award of the Hereditary Disease Foundation (HDF).


"The form has to be free and light, said Gehry of the project. "It must be structural, and at the same time poetic. And a little dangerous."


Here's some text from Emeco:


Emeco, the premier manufacturer of aluminum chairs and contemporary furniture design company, and renowned architect Frank Gehry, have collaborated once again.  For 2009, they have developed a one-of-a-kind large scale bench which will be presented during the Salone del Mobile in Milan, April 22 -27 2009 at the Emeco booth.

Named Tuyomyo (Spanish for “Yours and Mine”), this is the second time Emeco and Gehry have cooperated on a project. The new bench will be auctioned in the Fall, proceeds of which will go to the Hereditary Disease Foundation (HDF).

And here's a longer version:

Emeco with Gehry: A Collaboration in Support of Hereditary Disease Research

“Tuyomyo” Yours and Mine: One-of-a-Kind

Hanover, Pennsylvania, USA- Emeco, the premier manufacturer of aluminum chairs, and renowned architect Frank Gehry have collaborated once again, this time in the development a one-of-a-kind large scale bench which will be presented during the Salone del Mobile in Milan, April 22 -27 2009. Named Tuyomyo (Spanish for “Yours and Mine”), this is the second time Emeco and Gehry have cooperated on a project, the first being the creation of the all-aluminum Superlight chair launched at the Salone in 2004 and recently accepted into the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent design collection. The new bench will be auctioned in May, proceeds of which will fund the Leslie Gehry Brenner Award of the Hereditary Disease Foundation (HDF). Frank Gehry’s mandate was simple, “The form has to be free and light. It must be structural, and at the same time poetic. And a little dangerous.”

Using 80% recycled aluminum components and aircraft manufacturing technology, as well as hand craftsmanship - this exclusive Tuyomyo bench further reinforces Gehry’s intuitive design vision and Emeco’s expertise in crafting aluminum. Gehry developed ideas for the bench during the time he worked on the Superlight chair for Emeco in 2004. What started as a sketching of ideas has become a conceptual project for the company and one that will raise funds and awareness for HDF.

Frank and Berta Gehry were founding trustees of the Hereditary Disease Foundation in 1968. They are deeply passionate about and committed to its mission – to cure brain diseases. Proceeds from the sale of Tuyomyo will benefit a research fund established in 2008 in honor of Frank’s late daughter - The Leslie Gehry Brenner Award for Innovation in Science.

“We didn’t start with the intention of making a product – we wanted to explore the possibility of using huge pieces of aluminum to make a large scale project. Once we really got into it, we found we were onto something amazing and Frank suggested we use it to support his Foundation,” said Gregg Buchbinder, Emeco’s Chairman. “Combining CNC equipment with traditional hand craft, we were able to make a three meter long wing of polished aluminum. The trouble was making the wing strong enough to cantilever over the truss and remain stable. That’s when we found an aircraft part manufacturer with huge solution tempering furnaces that made it super strong. But it took many trials and failures to get it right. Each time the result was unpredictable – like Raku ceramic firing – the aluminum took its own, unique organic form. When we saw the final bench though, we knew we had fulfilled Frank’s directive and we thought maybe we could use even these ideas for a future product”

The project for the new Emeco bench fulfilled Gehry’s desire to design something unique that will benefit the Leslie Gehry Brenner Award of the Hereditary Disease Foundation (HDF), a cause that he is deeply passionate about. HDF aims to cure genetic illness by supporting basic biomedical research and uses Huntington’s Disease as its model. Buchbinder used the opportunity to find a way to manipulate and temper large pieces of aluminum for use in future product designs. The result is sculptural bench, a wholly new form – and an attempt to use design for the common good.

The special Tuyomyo Bench has gone through many changes during various stages of development since the team began working on the project last summer. The final all-aluminum bench features a three meter (9 ft.) hand polished “wing” of offset trapezoids supported by a brushed “truss”. It weighs only 55.3 Kg (122 lbs.) Tuyomyo will be presented by Emeco at the Salone Del Mobile in Milan in April 2009, Hall 12, Stand C10.

Frank Gehry

Born in Canada in 1929, Mr. Gehry has become a naturalized U.S. citizen. In 1954, he graduated from USC and after a year in the army, he was admitted to Harvard Graduate School of Design to study urban planning. He returned to Los Angeles and stayed until 1960. In 1961, Mr. Gehry moved to Paris where he worked and studied works by LeCorbusier, Balthasar Neumann, and was attracted by the French Roman churches. In 1962, he returned to Los Angeles, setting up his own firm. Mr. Gehry won Architecture’s prestigious 1989 Pritzker Prize. He is the architect of some of the most important buildings in the past half-century, including Guggenheim Bilbao and Disney Hall Los Angeles.

Hereditary Disease Foundation

The Hereditary Disease Foundation stands at the forefront of scientific ingenuity and progress, sparking innovative discoveries since it’s founding 1968 by Dr. Milton Wexler when his wife was diagnosed with Huntington's disease, a neurological disorder.

Frank and his wife, Berta, were founding Trustees in 1968 and continue to play active roles in the Foundation – Frank as Vice-President, Berta as Treasurer. Proceeds from the sale of Tuyomyo will benefit a research fund established in 2008 in honor of Frank’s late daughter - The Leslie Gehry Brenner Award for Innovation in Science. Genes reveal our past and shape our future. The genetic revolution is making the conquest of hereditary disease a real possibility today. The Hereditary Disease Foundation uses Huntington’s disease as a model to solve all genetic and brain disorders.

Emeco (www.emeco.net)

Emeco was founded in 1944 to make all-aluminum chairs for the US Navy. Gregg Buchbinder purchased the company in 1998 and began a friendship and association with the renowned French architect, Philippe Starck, creating a series of products that united Emeco's historic manufacturing capabilities with Starck's classic designs for a new century. In 2000, Starck's Hudson chair for Emeco won the GOOD DESIGN Award and was inducted into the permanent design collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

In 2004, Emeco collaborated with the American architect Frank O Gehry on Superlight, a chair that utilizes aluminum's ability to be both strong and flexible. Gehry's chair won another GOOD DESIGN award in 2004 and was included in collections at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Pinakothek der Modern in Munich. In 2007 Emeco’s collaboration with Norman Foster “20-06” debuted at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile and won another GOOD DESIGN award, as well as a 2007 Spark Design Award. In 2008, Emeco launched the Nine-O collection by Ettore Sottsass – the last design by Mr. Sottsass who died in 2007 at the age of 90, in January of this year launched Morgans by Andrée Putman.

From a workforce of 15 craftsmen in 1999, Emeco has grown five times and recently instated a second manufacturing shift for the first time in 25 years. Emeco has made over 1,000,000 1006 Navy® chairs since 1944 and now sells its all aluminum furniture in 50 countries.

Presented by Emeco at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, April 22 -27 2009, Hall 12, Stand C10. For more information, visit www.emeco.net or contact dan@emeco.net. For more information about the Hereditary Disease Foundation, visit www.hdfoundation.org or contact cures@hdfoundation.org.

See all our stories from Milan in our special Milan 09 category.

Posted on Sunday April 19th 2009 at 7:01 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • bracamon

    well, phonetically Spanish, i guess.. looks like leftover cladding from disney concert hall, but there’s a nice juxtaposition in the form.
    at least it’s for a good cause.

  • M

    dangerous indeed, get ready for some nasty cuts

  • jake

    Look comfy… not.

  • Azm

    WOW Looks Beautiful, but do something about the edges…pretty sharp!

  • Link to Get an Impression

    would be very comftable to me if i where a robot

  • obayashi

    Seriously, that can’t be a bench. I dun see any possibility for anyone to seat on it at all, let alone be comfortable on it.

    Case of aesthetics over function, and it is not even pretty to look at. Looks like an amateurish year 1 project gone awry.

  • roberto

    good for childrens….incredible this is design


    That seems like a good place to sit if you want to accidentally slice you leg open.

    And I find it difficult to imagine sitting on it while not sliding right off. Its no good non-sense.

  • boy who walks in the valley

    if a robot could take a gaint dump, this is what it would look like. …without the corn.

  • 0hzone

    thankfully theres only one.

    facile at best

  • Q

    how about taking a nap on it?! =D

  • hernindya

    i think gehry himself wouldnt enjoy sittin there.well u can do every thing if u r so called a starchitect.

  • charles

    ”It must be structural, and at the same time poetic. And a little dangerous.”
    i love it, dangerous.

    what about FUNCTIONAL???

  • bizzeb

    im guessing the CIA may be the highest bidder

  • this is such poor design i am surprised to see it on this site. looks like a student’s model left behind for scrap.

  • Luxury Larry

    Why a litle dangerous? There is no design merit in my opinion.

  • Lena

    I would like to see photos of people actually sitting on it. You can probably use the edges to slice paper

  • a-haus

    can’t put my drink on it :(

  • davvid

    form indifferent to function? Blasphemy!

  • In its very own quite, remote corner, I suppose it could be interesting to look at, but then again, it does feel a bit recycled and lazy.

  • slater

    obayashi, i think you summed up Frank #2’s work with “aesthetics over function”, well put.

  • Son of Bozo

    What a genius……. ;0

  • 10101010111

    this bench is made for fat asses, each dip is for each bun.

  • tanya telford – T

    i love it, – aesthetically it makes alot of sense to me, both at a glace and also having read information on the piece.

  • vbsays

    Did I write something offensive or redundant?? I don’t believe so. ..Though, if so, I’m totally unaware of it. Thought this was Dezeen’s comment section0, where (naturally), after reading the various design updates, one is able to take a personal/subjective/critical (and sometimes even constructive) stance, and adding a comment to the list. …Or, has the space limit for commenting reached it’s max at ’24’??? Please, do tell, I’m at a loss.

  • max quad

    I know that these comments are based on looking at a photograph or two and hitting the keyboard, but walking up and touching it, try to find a sharp edge.

  • Pierre Sinsua

    if this piece is larger than many assume it to be then it is brilliant but if it is small and has little function then i am more interested in the company rather than the concept!

  • reshma

    It seems to me like the bench itself has no use… but everyone knows Gehry does his whole “intuitive” design only because he can get away with it. It is pretty to look at. It’s different I guess. I’d use it if all my knives were dirty.

  • Kenneth Smythe

    He is putting us on and the manufacturer has been had. Tell me this is not a joke.