Year: 2006

Material: paper, aluminium, resin, bronze, tungsten carbide


The Bone furniture project started in 2004 with a the research of Claus Mattheck and Lothar Hartzheim, published on Dutch science site Noorderlicht.
"Bouwen als een Boom' - (building like a tree) Dat willen wij ook - VPRO - 16 sept, 2004

Claus Mattheck and his research group

Seeing this, we where totally amazed by the efficiency, beauty and accuracy that this optimization software could generate. Ever since industrialization took over mainstream design we have wanted to make objects inspired by nature: from art nouveau and jugendstil to streamline and the organic design of the sixties. But our digital age makes it possible to not just use nature as a stylistic reference, but to actually use the underlaying principles to generate shapes like an evolutionary process. The project was initially developed with the help of Droog and Friedmanbenda Gallery.

First calculation, a Paper Bone chair.

Trees have the ability to add material where strength it is needed, and bones have the ability to take away material where it is not needed. With this knowledge the International Development Centre Adam Opel GmbH, a part of General Motors Engineering Europe created a dynamic digital tool to copy these ways of constructing used for optimizing car parts. In a way it quite precisely copies the way evolution constructs. We didn't use it to create the next worlds most perfect chair, but as a high tech sculpting tool to create elegant shapes with a sort of legitimacy. After a first try-out and calculation of a paper Bone Chair, the aluminium Bonechair was the first made in a series of 7. The process can be applied to any scale until architectural sizes in any material strength.

(Photography: Daniel Nicolas)
The bone furniture series consists out of 7 different pieces in all different materials and finishings. All pieces where made possible with the help of digital fabrication. The Bonechair was developed using a custom developed 3D printed ceramic mould in which the complete chair could be cast in one single piece.

The following piece, a Chaise longue, was developed at the workshop of Vincent de Rijk, who is known for his expertise with resin and his architectural models for Rem Koolhaas. It is cast in a UV resistant clear poly urethan of shore 90. Soft enough to shape itself to your body.

  (Credit photo on right: Joost van den Brug)

Then we made a Rocking and Arm chair. They where cast in a home made recipe of marble powder and resin.

Both pieces are printed in a 79 (armchair) and 91 (rocker) part 3D mould assembled with countless little bolts.


The Branch is cast in bronze, using a 3d printed polymer positive. And the construction of the Bridge table (see below) is CNC milled from blocks of aluminium and tabletop is made of unscratchable tungsten carbide, which is diamond polished by a robot for over 300 hours.

All pieces were added to several public museum and private art collections.  In the following link is a very nice text on bone furniture by David Dick



Project information