Office dA is a Boston-based firm whose principal partners are Monica Ponce de Leon and Nader Tehrani. The work of Office dA is diverse in scope and scale, ranging from the broader scale of urban design and infrastructure to architecture, interiors and furniture design. Of particular interest to Ponoko users is their use of CNC in the realization of their impressive furniture design, including the Laszlo Files, Vero Dresser and Otto Table.
The design of the Laszlo Files are based on new possibilities afforded by the use of computer numerically controlled (CNC) technology. There are two cabinetry types. They are both conceived as monolithic objects –like butcher blocks — that are carved out of massive pieces of stacked plywood. Accordingly, traditional distinctions between functional and symbolic elements – tops, fronts, hardware, structure, surface — are eliminated in lieu of a smoothed and singular strategy; all aspects of the design are accounted for through the act of routing into the depth of the wood. Both pieces of cabinetry are designed to accommodate both repetition as well as variation, an option easily afforded through digital modeling processes. So too, each piece capitalizes on three-axis milling techniques to produce artificial and invented graining as a result of the striations latent within laminated plywood constructions. The ï¬rst cabinet is composed of a stacked laminate counter top whose lines run parallel to
the cabinetry front. Consistent with the top, the cabinetry front laminates appear as extensions of the end-grain. The front is routed out in a fashion to create a smooth transition from the counter top extending the end-grain down the cabinetry front — turning the corner, as it were.
The Vero Dresser is a drawer chest composed of thirty-nine drawers of different sizes dedicated to a variety of artifacts from
earrings to linen. The drawers are stacked — in layers of decreasing width — four drawers on the bottom row, five on the next, then six,
seven, eight, and finally nine drawers on the top row. Consistent with this stacking, each drawer is fabricated from a stack of laminated plywood, whose exposed “end-grain” is suggestive of masonry block construction. Most important is the lack of an apparent structural frame. All structural members are recessed so that the drawers seem to levitate inexplicably. Even when the corner drawers are opened, no apparent backing nor any kind of scaffolding compromise the structural artifact: the massive, monumental, and weighty presence of a domestic artifact with no apparent connection to the ground. In fact, the piece is supported by three aluminum T-sections aligned with the reveal between the bottom four drawers. The structural scaffold is cantilevered from these three points towards the outer edges of the piece.
‘The Otto Table functions as a dining or general work table. Fabricated from layers of carbon fiber, fiberglass, and wood veneer, the table is exceptionally sturdy and durable, yet slender and light. The carbon top and a protective resign coat ensure great durability. The carbon “fabric” material and its method of production also allow for seamless connections between table-top and legs. CNC routed tools are fabricated as form-work for the intricate shape that mediates between the surface of the top and the thin vertical laminates of the legs. The compound surfaces of the tools are layered with carbon and glass fiber, covering the aggregate components. The legs are designed as seamless extensions of the table-top, with the carbon surface funneling down into the supports. In their vortex-like geometry, the layered structure is turned inside out, exposing the under-table’s wood veneer.
The leg has two divergent readings. Frontally, it exposes its delicate yet sturdy thinness in the end-grain of its composite laminates — carbon, glass, and wood on end. Obliquely, the leg appears as a traditional massive wood post — actually a thin veneer of African Mahogany wrapped around the laminates of carbon and glass fiber. The table can thus be seen as a marriage of these opposing readings: from one side, a draped piece of fabric slung down from the top and from the other, a sturdy and massive support: at once a technological innovation and a nod to convention.’
Again their portfolio boasts outstanding use of technology to realize innovative designs of OUR time, their architectural works are just as impressive and well worth checking out their portfolio of work on their website.
Office dA found via Fast Company