The global forum design fair Design Miami is going on in Florida right now; if you’re lucky enough to be in the Sunshine State, be sure to check out the awesome 3D printed bamboo pavilion! Over the past five years, famous champagne house Perrier-Jouët has partnered with Design Miami, commissioning works from new, talented designers that have resulted in several engaging and beautiful installations. This year’s installation, the 700-square-foot Strand Garden, was designed and created by the founder of Matsys Design studio Andrew Kudless. It focuses on digital craftsmanship, along with the material, process, and form of the pieces relating directly to the champagne-making process. He utilized 3D printing for multiple parts of the design that he’s described as a “clearing in a forest.” But one of the unconventional print materials he used may blow your mind.
The 3D printing materials market has been growing steadily, with plastic being the most used material, and the aerospace and medical industries do a lot of 3D printing with metal materials. But here’s a material I’ve never heard of being used in 3D printing: grapes! It makes sense, since Strand Garden is an art nouveau piece evoking the process of champagne-making. It’s designed to be an oasis for visitors, a calm place to take a minute and get away from the sensory overload of the vibrant Design Miami fair.
Strand Garden is housed in a black booth, with the only light coming from the pieces themselves. Three screens that are made of eight internally-lit oak veneer ‘strands’ mark out a central area, where you can see groups of interlocking concrete and oak-topped benches. At the center of the clearing is an illuminated 3D printed bioplastic strand that supports a 3D printed ice bucket.
“I was interested in the strands, fibres, branches and vines that appear across every aspect of art nouveau, from paintings to architecture,” explains Kudless, who started work on the project in August 2015. “The curving strand motif evokes nature and movement over time. I wanted to look at four of Perrier-Jouët’s emblematic materials – wood, chalk, glass and grapes – and see how I could create strands out of each one.”
The oak used in wine presses and riddling racks is there, in the robotically-milled tops of the benches. The benches’ concrete legs have been treated, to mimic the chalk found in Perrier-Jouët’s wine cellars. The glowing table in the middle was 3D printed using a clear bioplastic material that looks like glass; it’s also internally lit, to resemble the effervescence of champagne. The ice bucket was also 3D printed, but on close inspection, it almost appears to be made of a woven material, which was how Kudless intended for it be. While researching for this project, he witnessed grape pickers wearing woven baskets on their backs while working at the vineyard, and also discovered that baskets were used as elevators, to transport bottles of wine from 80 feet below up to the ground level.
This beautful petal-like ice bucket, named the Perrier-Jouët Marc Metamorphosis, is the most incredible part of the entire Strand Garden project. This specific piece was 3D printed using Chardonnay grape skins, and features a wrinkled, raisin-like texture. Kudless explained that the grapes were dried and then ground to a powder before being 3D printed. The ice bucket reproduces the texture of a grape as it dries. To make this astonishing ice bucket, Kudless teamed up with Emerging Objects, an independent, 3D printing MAKE-tank that specializes in its unique approach to materials. If they were able to help create a beautiful, successful 3D print out of crushed-up grape skins, I’d say that’s an understatement! They’ve worked with cement, rubber, and even salt; check out their portfolio to see the other materials they use.
This is the first time that Kudless has collaborated with a brand, and he really enjoyed the experience. He was able to find the harmony in the analog and digital craftsmanship of the champagne-making process, and also in the continuing negotiation of unpredictable elements.
“I really bonded with cellar master Hervé Deschamps, he’s an amazing guy and he’s fine tuning all the time, dealing with changes in the weather, the grapes and the temperature and I do that too with techniques like 3D printing that I can’t quite control. You can never exactly know what the result will be and I love working like that.”
Once Design Miami is over, the Strand Garden will eventually join over 200 other pieces in Perrier-Jouët’s inherited collection of museum-quality French art nouveau. Discuss in the Design Miami forum at 3DPB.com.[Source: The Telegraph]