Designers carve furniture from marble blocks
for Robot City exhibition

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Milan 2014: these marble furniture pieces, including a version of Alessandro Mendini's Proust chair, were each carved from a single block of stone for an exhibition by Italian company Robot City in Milan (+ slideshow).

Robot city exhibition in Milan
Tavolo Onda by Stefano Boeri

Robot City commissioned Italian architects and designers to create pieces of furniture a giant block of Carrera marble for the Solid Senses exhibition at Ventura Lambrate in Milan earlier this month.

Robot city exhibition in Milan
Tavolo Onda by Stefano Boeri

Architect Stefano Boeri presented a reinterpretation of the Tavolo Onda – or Wave Table – designed by his mother, architect Cini Boeri.

Robot city exhibition in Milan
Rabbit Table by Stefano Giovannoni

The marble base of the table has been carved into a series of vertical linked curves, appearing solid when viewed front on but delicate when seen from above through the rectangular glass table top.

Robot city exhibition in Milan
Rabbit by Stefano Giovannoni

"Marble and plate glass are strong, pure materials," said Stefano Boeri. "On a marble base, the transparency of a crystal glass surface is ready for the untidiness of everyday life."

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Rabbit Table by Stefano Giovannoni

A tree-like table accompanied by a set of rabbit-shaped chairs were created by designer Stefano Giovannoni.

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Sketch of Rabbit Table by Stefano Giovannoni

Rabbit Tree features a rounded table supported by a thick base that branches like a tree trunk beneath its surface.

Robot city exhibition in Milan
Comb by Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti

Users sit on the backs of the marble rabbits and can lean against their ears.

Robot city exhibition in Milan
Sketch of Comb by Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti

Designers Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti worked together to create a bench that can be stacked up to form a bookshelf and a separate chair.

Robot city exhibition in Milan
Land chair by Paolo Ulian

The modular Comb piece has two legs carved with flutes, which reduce the weight, and a flat top. When stacked together, the repeated elements form a shelving unit with arched nooks for storing items.

Robot city exhibition in Milan
Sketch of Land chair by Paolo Ulian

The duo's Land chair is made from two flat marble slabs cut concentrically, forming tiers that step inward towards the base.

Robot city exhibition in Milan
Proust chair by Alessandro Mendini

The exhibition also included an all-marble version of designer Alessandro Mendini's 1978 Proust chair - read more about this design in our previous story.

Each design was carved using programmed machinery from a block of marble weighing over 38 tonnes.

Robot city exhibition in Milan
Sketch of Proust chair by Alessandro Mendini

"The materials were worked with a combination of high technology and robotically-controlled processes, with skilled supervision by expert marble artisans," said a statement from Robot City.