With the help of digital technologies it is now possible to create all forms imaginable, whilst streamlining the design process from concept to fabrication. Digital technologies allow designers to fulfill their artistic visions without any compromises and enable customers to personalize products relatively easy.
It is true that this trend of using digital technologies in design began earlier. But now it is possible to not only use digital technology to produce prototypes, but to also use it in production, using a wide range of different materials, not just a limited list of plastics. If we have to consider what the design of 21st century is going to look like, I think that one of its faces is going to be like Amanda Levets's fluid forms. "The first lady of Future Systems", as Wallpaper presents her, is featuring four limited edition pieces in ‘Around the Corner’ -Levete’s first solo exhibition, presented by Established & Sons LIMITED, for whom she’s previously designed two of the company’s best-selling and most talked-about pieces, the Chester sofa (2005) and Drift series (2006).
The exhibition includes four limited-edition pieces with fluid, organic and natural forms; using a different material for each one. One of her aims, Amanda Levete says, is to explore the use of space in the corner of a room. Each piece has been made from a different material: ‘North’ is a console in neon fibreglass, ‘East’, my favourite, - a corner table or desk, carved from a single piece of black marble, ‘South’ - a set of two shelves in Corian and ‘West’ is an elegant bench made from laminated wood.
But it is not only the forms - it is the technology used to produce them that makes these products symbolic for design in the 21st century: digital technology was used to cut and carve the forms. Initial forms were derived from a complex three-dimensional formula that was manipulated digitally to create elegant and functional pieces of furniture, which were then finished by hand. Curved structures of furniture and interiors relate to the curves and shapes of the human body and nature. They are logical and comforting, which is the reason, why they will probably continue to inspire designers and attract customers. Their growing accessibility allows for more limited edition series and a more individualized approach in furniture design. It looks handcrafted, like sculpture, but it is a design that is being enabled by computer – a good way to have more functional art at home.