Chaise longue by Neri Oxman uses 3D printing to create a multi-coloured cocoon

This chaise longue by architect, designer and MIT professor Neri Oxman features 44 different composite materials 3D-printed inside a wooden enclosure, creating a multi-coloured recliner.

The first of two designs to be released by Neri Oxman, Gemini Alpha features a series of synthetic rubber-like nodules in various shades of magenta, yellow and orange in a swooping wooden frame.

3D-printed chaise longue by Neri Oxman forms a multi-coloured cocoon

"Gemini is about the complex and contradictory relationship between twins," explained Oxman.

"This is mirrored in the geometrical forms of the two-part chaise and the dualities that drive their formation, such as the combination of natural and synthetic materials."

The inside of Gemini Alpha is made up of a 3D-printed skin that uses three synthetic rubber-like plastics, combined to create 44 different composites.

This inner skin was produced on Stratasys' new Objet500 3D printer, which allows materials and colours to be combined simultaneously.

3D-printed chaise longue by Neri Oxman forms a multi-coloured cocoon

Each of the materials has a different rigidity and colour, and is arranged to cushion the user. The choice of shapes is also informed by their noise-cancelling properties.

"The chaise is designed to use curved surfaces that tend to reflect the sound inwards," said Oxman. "The surface structure scatters the sound and reflects it into the 3D-printed skin that absorbs that sound, and creates a quiet and calm environment."

The outer layer is made from a solid wood shell milled using a CNC machine by New York company SITU Fabrication. It follows the contours of the body, with a deep seat, back rest, and a curving head piece that immerses the user and helps block out sound.

Gemini Alpha was designed in collaboration with W. Craig Carter, professor at MIT's Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

It is currently on display at Le Laboratoire art and design centre in Paris and the second piece, Gemini Beta, will be unveiled in September.

Photography is by Michel Figuet.