Architonic Concept Space IV
An ecological alternative to conventional materials
FluidSolids® was developed by the Zurich designer and materials expert Beat Karrer. His work has always displayed a fascination for materials and production technology, often creating the starting point for the development of new applications, typologies and forms. In the design of a product the material which is selected plays a decisive role, not just with regard to its appearance but also in terms of the product's construction and production, and consequently also its price. The search for the right innovative and sustainable material, however, has always proved difficult. Now, in the form of FluidSolids®, the designer has been able to develop a substance which represents a real alternative to conventional production materials.
FS stool by Beat Karrer
Material properties which can be programmed
In developing the material Beat Karrer's aim was to create an innovative material that would provide decisive added value. It was to make products and applications more flexible, stable, sustainable and cost efficient. The result was the composite FluidSolids®, which meets all these requirements of the same time.
A significant advantage is the fact that the properties of the material can be programmed. Depending on the individual requirement the material can be adapted with regard to the production technology which is applied, the required physical properties, the necessary durability and the specific surface finish. FluidSolids® can be cast and extruded, integrated into existing production processes or even processed in a wide diversity of ways as a semi-finished product. As a result FluidSolids® has a wide and flexible range of applications and can be used in the manufacture of the most diverse product spectrum.
An innovative process
As "proof of concept" the FS stool appeared in a limited series as one of the first products to be made with the material. The stool receives its characteristic appearance from the contrast between the materials of the seat, which is made from FluidSolids®, and the frame made of ash wood, also a renewable raw material. Connecting the seat made of FluidSolids® and the wooden sections is implemented by an innovative in-mould process, in which the legs are inserted directly into the mould in which the seat is created. During the moulding procedure the FluidSolids® material penetrates the grooves in the legs, which enables the robust, interlocking and cost efficient integration of all parts in a single operational process. As a result the FS stool doesn't require any outside materials such as metals (screws, bolts) or synthetic adhesives.
In this way it has been possible to transfer the benefits of the material to an individual product and present them as a test series. For the purpose of developing an industrial manufacturing process Beat Karrer is cooperating with the firm of Faserplast and the Institute for Materials Engineering and Plastics Processing at the Technical University of Rapperswil.
Architonic Concept Space IV
A further application of FluidSolids® is represented by the architectural elements of the Architonic Concept Space IV, which was presented to the public for the first time at the Milan furniture fair. The concept is based on a flexible basic element which can be connected with other elements in the most diverse patterns and expanded as required in order to cover the individual stand area. Thanks to the adaptability of FluidSolids® it has been possible to cover the elements in the Architonic's typical anthracite. At Orgatec 2012, too, Concept Space IV will be designed with FluidSolids® elements.
An outstanding new development in materials
Since its launch FluidSolids® has met with lively interest on the part of the materials and design scene. In 2011 it won the Materialica GOLD Award in the category of CO2 efficiency, and it has received recognition at the Prix Lignum in 2012. The FS stool has been displayed at a number of exhibitions, for example at the "Übersichtsschau herausragender Designleistungen" (Exhibition of Excellence in Design) of Germany's 2012 Federal Design Awards, "Prospects Park" in Cologne and Design Zentrum Berlin's "Spot on Materials".
Institut für Werkstofftechnik und Kunststoffverarbeitung