Dezeen Magazine

Branca by Industrial Facility for Mattiazzi

Milan 2010: London designer Sam Hecht of Industrial Facility presented a wooden chair combining robotic and handcraft processes for Italian brand Mattiazzi in Milan last week.

Called Branca, the design draws on the growth of tree branches.

The back legs are each CNC-moulded from one piece of wood.

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The information below is from Industrial Facility:

In 1978 the Italian brothers nevi and Fabbiano Mattiazzi started an obsession with wood production. For the past thirty years, this obsession has led them to produce furniture for some of the great Italian furniture brands.

After several trips to Mattiazzi's factory, along with close discussions with their craftsmen, Industrial Facility wished to push Mattiazzi further into the position of the robotic craftsman. What is a chari whose ingredients are a combination of highly complex parts (made possible with CNC machinery, most notably their eight Axis Robot which they had become expert at), alongside simple traditional shaping and finishing by hand?

"I observed that the power of the robot, the repetition of the machine and the skills of the craftsman already have synchronised relationships at Mattiazzi - where each process is as carefully selected as much as the wood blocks that were to be shaped,' says Hecht.

It was in conversations with his partner Kim Colin that the focus was turned to nature, where complexity thrives with reason. Beauty is simply a result of constant growth. In particular, the branches of a tree were to provide the critical analogy for the project. Like wooden branches on a tree, Branca is a chair that is familiar to the eye. We accept that branches support the joints of twigs and leaves at different points that may seem random but are al intentional.

With Branca, its back leg supports the critical joints of the armrest, the seat and the back, and is made from a single piece of wood produced robotically.

The joints are seen as but a part of the seamless nature of the chair and its simple outline belies the complexity of production. With no question, Branca had to hold all of the functional attributes we expect a chair to have in a modern condition - to be comfortable; to have armrests; to fit under a table; to be light enough to carry; and to stack for easy shipping.

Branca is inspired by wooden branches that turn, twist, meet and branch off.

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