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Bench

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Petter Thörne’s first degree was a BA in interior architecture and furniture design which he took at Konstfack in Stockholm. After this he worked as a freelance designer in Copenhagen, and also spent half a year working in Hanoi on product design with local craftsmen, which he saw as a great contrast to his European experience. He finished at the RCA this summer and hopes to work on a number of different products with a network of different people.


THE DESIGN

As the name suggest, the defining characteristic of Beeeeeench is its length, coupled with extreme lightness. Spanning 3.5m (and it could even have been longer), it is made up of slender strips of wood just 5mm thick, which work in three dimensions to build up a beam structure. The vertical slats are 75mm wide, and those forming the horizontal seating surface are just 50mm wide. Separate legs can be bolted on, and removed for transport.


Thörne showed his designs to a structural engineer, who said that all the elements should be much thicker for stability, but he was confident that his design would be strong enough to support weight, even if it twisted slightly in use. He chose to use ash because of its high strength and flexibility.


Thörne sees museum seating as an ideal application for Beeeench, since it is a modest solution, remarkable only for its length, and so would not distract attention from the exhibits.


LIFE CYCLE CONSIDERATIONS

Although this bench is very lightweight, it is not economical in materials because of the amount of finishing involved, as seen in the impacts. There is a question mark over its durability, which could limit its lifespan. If this were a solution for commercial manufacture, it would be subject to some repetitive testing to see how it behaved over time
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