Branch Out by Studiomama for TEN


London Design Festival 09: London designer Nina Tolstrup of Studiomama presented a collection of furniture made from digitally-altered branches with TEN XYZ at 100% Design in London last month.

Called Branch Out, the project involved scanning the branches with a 3D scanner before maniuplating them with software and rapid-prototyping the resulting forms.

Tolstrup then cast these and used them as connecting elements to transform the original branches into trestles for tables.

Led by Chris Jackson, TEN is a group of designers who collaborate each year to present sustainable projects at 100% Design. See our story about last year's project here.

Here's some more information from Tolstrup:


Nina Tolstrup - Studiomama for TEN at 100% design

Branch Out

The challenge for the TEN collective this year was to create a project using digital technologies. My aim was to make a small intervention using a natural form found in nature, whilst utilizing the 3D scanner, 3D software and stereo lithography technologies. There is a beauty in the cycle’s of nature and that natures systems know no waste. An example of this which inspired me was seeing the potential of fallen branches whilst walking in the forest. These branches would otherwise eventually biodegrade into the earth.

The digital technologies offered by Metropolitan Works gave me the opportunity to explore these beautiful pieces of nature. I had the idea to find some sections of branch that I could scan in 3D and then subtly manipulate in a 3D program. The manipulated branches were then rapid prototyped and cast. I worked out that I could then use the cast branches as connectors in conjunction with my collected fallen branches.

These connected pieces formed simple skeletal structures that could be used to make basic items of furniture such as trestle, table frame, stools or a coat stand.

Posted on Monday October 5th 2009 at 4:44 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Bender

    “a collection of furniture” .. a little overstatement?

  • I’d say led by Gitta Gschwendtner this year. Nina Tolstrup the last – and a great collaborative effort as usual for TEN XYZ – with Jon Hares as a valuable 11th member.

  • says:

    NONSENSE!!, its more SUSTAINABLE to search & use real wood branches!

  • Donald Waters

    Pretty sick? Proclaiming sustainability by simply ‘copying’ nature! I really don’t get this. Plus, I would like to see a 12mm thick tempered glass table top sat atop these thin legs. It’s gonna collapse!

  • Moll

    … but … it’s begining … the idea have a future … just we should work better and fill all of such things …

  • I hate responding to moronic comments on design, and Nina’s work speaks for itself, but

    (a) to annonymous (what a surprise) these are fabricated ‘connectors’ that actually connect the ‘real’ branches. Go and try and find two arrangments of branches that are actually the same size and height, in that formation to act as a trestle. I’ll see you in about 2090.

    (b) to Donald Waters – Thanks for your ill-informed opinion. Whenever we do a TEN project – we sit around a table (and skype) and pain over what the message is, how we are approaching the project and how the projects will be viewed under the banner of ‘sustainability’. The one thing we are always is sincere. What we try to do is open up conversation, and try to provide a different angle on the sustainable design argument. Oh – you could also go out and find similar branches if they were to break – rather than buying new ones – making it MORE sustainable than a similar shop-bought product.

    It would be really great if people were actually constructive with comments on this site, as most people that air an opinion seem like bitter, untalented creatives, who never quite made it in the design world, so gain a feeling of self-worth criticising the work of other (talented) designers.

    Maybe all of the negative commentators should post their work up somewhere, so we can all have a laugh?

    rant over, as you were.

  • mikaël

    hey chris,
    when you take your ideas out there, you should expect them to be received in ways that might not be what you would have hoped for, but still remain valid. While cocooning a project, you might loose the detachment needed to try and understand why such critics are formulated and most importantly that they are not directed at your person.
    also , I’m certain you know better than to make unflattering assumptions about the visitors of this site, even the ones who do not appreciate your sende of aesthetics. If you did, it would make you come off as unconfident and aggressive. But I rest assured you probably have something more important to do with your time anyway.

    my constructive (I hope) comment is: I like the process better than the result. it lacks the contrast that could make it look as interesting as it is

  • hi mikael,

    thanks for your comment – and I agree totally. My point was that the majority of comments that are posted on dezeen are negative and ill considered, in fact pointless (as much online comments are on many blogs).

    I was not making unflattering assumptions about the majority visitors to the site – merely the ones that leave consistently negative comments (annonymously) or with no reference to their own work.

    I have no qualms about negative comments, as I have always realised and appreciated that when designers put work out there, we are open to critque in all its forms. I emphasise that it’s the people who actually display their work who are actively engaging in this forum. If my aim was to ‘cocoon’ work, then I / we would not have the confidence to show it.

    If people are prepared to leave comments, then they should also be prepared to have their comments rebuked, challenged, dismissed, etc.

    Thats the point, surely? :-)

  • PS – I prefer passionate / annoyed rather than aggressive.

  • Vic

    Chris is rad. Most people on here posting come off as angry bitches, it horrible.