Alejandro Bona

Department: Contextual Design

Form Follows Forces

Materials have a language, an identity; they have specific strengths and weaknesses. What a material can afford to do for us, which functions can be evoked by them, is based on the inherent characteristics, the possibilities and the limitations of a material.

Why apply forces throughout a material to produce a form, when one strategically placed force can achieve a comparable outcome? Anticipating how forces and deformations will extrapolate throughout flexible materials can save us a lot work. Repercussions, ripples, cause and effect. These are the laws of nature, which allowed for large complex systems to come into existence countless years before our interventions. What if we were to gently guide materials to better serve our needs, with only the minimum of interventions? This would require that we relinquish a certain level of control, to trigger and entrust the formal reactions of the material in design decisions.

The final designs are the results of processes and their most logical outcome with no pencil involved. My tools are three forces (compression, tension and bending). Polyurethane Foam and Steal Mesh are flexible materials that best illustrate how unitary forces can define form in an instant, due to their exaggerated reactions. Metal spray and polyester resins allow me to preserve these forms in steal mesh and polyurethane foam respectively.

I have placed the most value on the affordances that derive from simplest interventions. These three objects are the result of simple processes that may be unravelled at a glance.

Copyright Design Academy Eindhoven

Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven
Photographs: Femke Rijerman