The Endless Process
THE ENDLESS PROCESS
The idea behind "Endless" originated during Dirk Vander Kooij's graduation at the Design Academy in Eindhoven.
The title "Endless" refers to an endless thread of synthetic material and infinite possibilities. He used an old industrial robot and reprogrammed it in such a way that it could "print" furniture. In a virtually perpetual movement the robot extrudes recycled refrigerator interiors into chairs or any other kind of furniture.
Building a comfortable chair is pretty difficult on its own, but moreover, Dirk Vander Kooij intended to develop a flexible production process as well. Only a short while ago, plastic furniture could only be fabricated by a process called injection moulding. That process is very efficient and it's capable of turning out many pieces of uniform furniture very rapidly. But moulds are expensive and they are only worth the investment if they produce furniture in large numbers.
"Endless" enables the designer to modify a model every single time a piece of furniture is produced, with zero extra expense. And in fact that's exactly how it works. Why? Because one only starts noticing a specific detail after it has recurred. This process of evaluation - looking, sitting and adjusting, not only makes the finished product more interesting, as no one chair is identical to any other chair, but it also gives the designer the opportunity to keep modifying the chair until it sits comfortably and the appearance is satisfactory. 54 prototypes of the rocking chair "Endless Flow" were made and the chair improved at each stage. It explains why people are quite surprised how comfortable the chair really is.
It's nice that...
The innovative nature of the "Endless" production process has not gone unnoticed. The "It's Nice That"-weblog on design puts it this way: "With Dutch Design Week drawing to a close, we were pleased to see Dirk Vander Kooij's inventive brilliance recognised with another award - this time for Best Autonomous Design at the festival's prize-giving (...) and reenforces just how deserving a winner Dirk really is".
An image says more than a thousand words. A video runs at 25 frames a second, you do the math... In any case, far too many words. So, alongside this text you'll find a video showing the "Endless" process.