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Neri Oxman in her Gemini chaise
Professor Neri Oxman reclining in her Gemini acoustic chaise featuring traditional and Stratasys additive manufacturing techniques.
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Neri Oxman's Gemini chaise
Chaise inner lining of Gemini Acoustic Chaise designed by Professors Neri Oxman and W. Craig Carter composed of Stratasys 3D printed PolyJet digital materials including colour with varying elastic and acoustical properties.
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Neri Oxman's Gemini chaise
Gemini Acoustic Chaise designed by Professors Neri Oxman and W. Craig Carter, inner lining produced on Objet500 Connex3 Colour Multi-material 3D Printer by Stratasys.
MIT Professor and 3D printing forerunner Neri Oxman has unveiled her striking acoustic chaise longue, which was made using Stratasys 3D printing technology.
Oxman collaborated with Professor W Craig Carter and Composer and fellow MIT Professor Tod Machover to explore material properties and their spatial arrangement to form the acoustic piece.
Christened Gemini, the two-part chaise was produced using a Stratasys Objet500 Connex3 multi-colour, multi-material 3D printer as well as traditional furniture-making techniques and it will be on display at the Vocal Vibrations exhibition at Le Laboratoire in Paris from March 28th 2014.
An Architect, Designer and Professor of Media, Arts and Science at MIT, Oxman's creation aims to convey the relationship of twins in the womb through material properties and their arrangement. It was made using both subtractive and additive manufacturing and is part of Oxman's ongoing exploration of what Stratasys' ground-breaking multi-colour, multi-material 3D printer can do.
"The duality of nature"
"The twin chaise spans multiple scales of the human existence extending from the warmth of the womb to the stretches of the Gemini zodiac in deep space," said Oxman. "It recapitulates a human cosmos, our body, like the constellation, drifting in quiet space. Here the duality of nature is expressed through the combination of traditional materials and state of the art 3D printing.
"Stratasys' new multi-material colour 3D printing capability has allowed me to create a rich dialog between sound and light, rigid and flexible, natural and man-made materials and high and low spatial frequencies in ways that were impossible until now."
The two-part statement furniture piece is made to be cocoon-like, with the interior cushioning the body with a softly-coloured, multi-material, 3D-printed surface said to replicate the tranquility of the womb. The lining is made of 44 composite PolyJet digital materials, including colour. The 3D-printed skin uses Stratasys' triple jetting technology and combines three materials; rubber-like TangoPlus, rigid VeroYellow and VeroMagenta. These varied 3D-printed textures provide Gemini with its peculiar acoustic effect for a calming environment. The smooth, solid wood outer shell provides a protective exterior for anybody reclining within.
"Gemini is fundamentally about the complex and contradictory relationship between twins, which is mirrored in the geometrical forms of the two-part chaise and the dualities that drive their formation, such as the combination of natural and synthetic materials," said Oxman. "The Objet500 Connex3 enabled us to print 44 material combinations that not only target specific pressure points on the body to form a sensorial landscape, but also act as a soundproof anechoic chamber, an architecture for quieting the mind."
The two-part piece consists of Gemini Alpha and Gemini Beta and are inspired by the Greek mythological tale of the relationship between the Dioskouri twins, Castor and Pollux, born of Aetolian Princess Leda who was seduced by Zeus disguised as a swan on the same night she lay with her husband Tyndareus, King of Sparta. According to the myth, Castor was the mortal son of Tyndareus, while Pollux was the divine son of Zeus.
It is the theme of the swan and its root word 'sound' and 'sing' that inspired Oxman to give Gemini Alpha - or Pollux - its acoustic qualities, which has a curved interior texture and more elastic properties to increase sound absorption around the local chambers. Beta has been designed to complement its twin, creating a full enclosure, but it is a chaise in its own right when positioned upside down.
Oxman said: "I wanted to reproduce the calming and still ambience of the fetus' prenatal experience. The 3D printed sound-proof skin brings the whole concept to life, transporting the visitor once seated within the chaise to ultimate serenity."
Founder and Director of Le Laboratoire in Paris David Edwards said he and his team is "delighted" with the Neri Oxman collaboration, stating that her "ground-breaking creations continue to wow audiences while demonstrating the dramatic potential of 3D printing within the design world".
"This will be the first time that Le Laboratoire has featured a 3D-printed piece and we expect the Gemini chaise will prove to be an attention-grabbing aspect of Vocal Vibrations," he noted.
"Once again Professor Neri Oxman has demonstrated her ability to push the boundaries of design and manufacturing with the help of Stratasys colour multi-material 3D printing," added Arita Mattsoff, Vice-President of Marketing for Stratasys. "This is a truly unique, functional piece of art that combines traditional manufacturing techniques with cutting edge 3D printing technology. We are seeing more and more designers embrace 3D printing as a powerful new creative tool, enabling them to bring designs they never thought possible to life in a matter of hours."
Gemini Alpha will be on display at the Vocal Vibrations exhibition at Le Laboratoire in Paris from March 28th 2014.