In a world of design, shape makes the difference. In the same way or even more than details. You fell in love with a shape, dream about a shape, crave for certain shapes. A designer mind is full of ideas transcended into sketches which ultimately make a product. It`s not easy to create, whereas a creation would be consider a unique way of expressing a vision. Inspiration can be a double sword, when inducing details into your work. Wow, that`s a great creation! or Wow, that`s a great recreation! can follow nights of ideas and days of hard work. Disappointment is the worst enemy of creativity; it can drag you and your spirit in a dark and empty space. Recreation is not a bad process; it always involves creativity and adjustments and it should always involve credentials for the original creator or creation.
Sure, we can all agree that creation is the peak of the iceberg or the tip of the mountain. It feeds your ego, your mental and your soul. Just don`t get down when it`s not there; beautiful things can be created by others and translated into reality by you. The same way we did the following reception desk for the NYC Pirelli Showroom. An organic shape reflecting the entire core of a huge company; details subtle to a first, superficial glance, but undeniable after a short focused attention. Materials, often having a different role, were ranked as art!
Every idea has a creator. In this case, the concept project was done by an Italian design company named ChangedD, founded by Renato Montagner in 2000, and Virginia Harper, an American industrial designer that managed the Pirelli Showroom project, here in NYC. It embeds the entire idea behind the Pirelli brand, in the most needed area: the reception, a place were first contact is made and first impression is acknowledge!
It all started with drawings, materials and budget. It continued with a 3D view that made us more aware of the product itself and any reasons of concern that might appear. Corian was the option for the finishing, with a detail of laser engraved rubber. It totally made sense, when you know Pirelli`s field of activity!
The initial requirements were refined in the end by the initial budget. Not that Pirelli could not afford it, but the idea of modifying costs after approval is a bad way of doing business. The Corian turned out to be way outside the budget, and we settled for MDF, painted flat black and laser engraved rubber as details. The drawer needed to be hardwood with an oil finishing.
WORK IN PROGRESS
The best feeling ever is when you start a new project. You feel full of energy and ideas… which sometimes wear off by the time it`s finished, only to be uplifted by a happy customer. The most important decision, regarding manufacturing, are materials. Good quality materials will bring you good quality end product. In this case, it was a a definite yes to MDF, due to its great quality of not working in time (in comparison with wood which sometimes delivers surprises) and its light weight.
All parts were cut to size, and carefully assembled using glue and screws. It was vital for seems to disappear because of the painting finishing. It is highly important to keep in mind that any material imperfection will be emphasized when painted, rather than vanish. So it was a lot of sanding involved; over and over again, until each edge was flushed with the adjacent one. Plus the screw holes were covered with wood dowels and their surface smoothed. Instead of wood filler, we used Bondo, a light filler, which after sanding becomes an extremely smooth surface.
When everything was done it was time for the most sensitive part: painting. The choice was for flat (mat) black. Nothing shiny! was the designer request; Pirelli does not like shiny things! We totally complied and chose a special paint and primer (suitable for wood). After a coat of prime, light session of sanding and 3 coats of paint, our reception was looking great.
Some very unique approaches were taken when creating the details of this product. A rectangular front area, covered with rubber, laser engraved with a custom made pattern. Certain areas, like the rest of the front and all along to the back, were covered with corrugated rubber. One tip before you start using rubber: it has a strong smell, not necessarily pleasant, which becomes hard to deal with when you laser engrave it. Another issues is that not all laser machines can engrave rubber and not every type of rubber can be engraved; we had to conduct some serious tests before deciding for the right thickness and type.
Gluing the rubber on the finite product was a one shot, one opportunity situation. We had to be very careful and lay everything down perfectly. The product used was Formica 145 adhesive. It`s great for bonding surfaces, with at least one being wood; it is highly important to follow the package instructions.
After days of hard work, critical situations and increased focused we managed to deliver a great product. Client was satisfied and so were we. Another great concept translated into reality… another story to share with you. This is what we like doing here at Open Square:Architecture & Interior/Industrial Design! We like knowing your opinion, so feel free to leave a comment!