A perpetual experimenter, Patricia Urquiola regularly pushes the limits of expectation, developing objects and spaces that are at once poetic and practical. Constantly finding ways to merge tradition with technology, the Spanish designer is renowned for her unique approach that uncovers “connections between the familiar and the unexplored.” One recent – and, of course, stunning – example is her Plumón table for outdoor furniture brand Kettal.
The Plumón table is comprised of a simple two-ply glass surface with rounded edges that is held aloft by perfectly imperfect base pieces that appear to have been hand-thrown on a potter’s wheel. But looks, as they say, can be deceiving. In actuality, the sculptural stoneware plinths are 3D-printed using innovative production and engineering techniques developed by LaMáquina by Noumena.
Wanting to explore the immeasurable possibilities of 3D printing – specifically how the method can create shapes, textures and sizes unfathomable with traditional hands-on craftwork – Urquiola partnered with the team at LaMáquina by Noumena to take her idea from conceptual design to finished product.
Based in Barcelona, the manufacturing studio works at the intersection of the analogue and the digital, evolving craft through highly advanced fabrication. For the Plumón table, the collaboration worked through a “computational and creative workflow” to establish and fine-tune the manufacturing process, which took place at the Barcelona factory using LaMáquina’s Pure.Tech polymer (which absorbs CO2 and neutralizes greenhouse gases, making the tables sustainable as well as show-stopping) before being fired at a low temperature.
An added appeal 3D printing held for the Milan-based Urquiola is that no fixed mould is required. This means that, with only the slightest manipulation to the computational formula, each and every piece can be unique. While every version is indeed its own, they do share obvious “similitudes” – namely a layered texture comprised of varying (and, at times, overlapping) ribs, grooves and hollows that create an overall compelling and dynamic object.
Available as a coffee or side table, Plumón is a companion piece to a sofa that shares its name, one that also exemplifies the designer’s characteristic individualism and is based on the concept of “dressing and undressing furniture.”
Using 3D printing, the Spanish designer delivers the one-of-a-kind Plumón stoneware table series for Kettal.