Joris Laarman (The Netherlands)
Digital fabrication technology has been around for a long time but is only recently becoming available to consumers thanks to less expensive, computer-controlled machines, smart software, and new materials. Digital fabrication has become more than a tool for prototyping—it has become a tool for manufacturing actual products. Regardless of how interesting this development might be, however, we feel the process is still in its infancy. Digital fabrication needs to scale up to grow up.
We believe in the symbiosis of handcrafts and technology like parametric design tools and digital fabrication. The Maker Chairs fit right into that dream. All of the chairs are composed of digitally fabricated 3-D parts that fit together exactly, like a three-dimensional puzzle. By fractioning designs into many small parts, we radically expanded the potential of small consumer 3-D printers and CNC milling machines. Building these pieces out of small parts is essential, given the small building platforms of most affordable machines. The digital era allows lightweight organic shapes made out of an endless variety of materials, building blocks, and color gradients.
Joris Laarman Lab is an experimental playground set up to study and shape the future. It allows craftsmen, scientists, and engineers to tinker on the many new possibilities of upcoming technology and its consequential aesthetics. The work produced is diverse, from sculptural experimental furniture and innovative production processes to museum installations, films, digital media, and workshops at universities around the world.
The lab was founded in 2004 by Joris Laarman and partner and filmmaker Anita Star. Both grew up in the rural countryside of the Netherlands. Laarman attended the Design Academy Eindhoven, graduating cum laude in 2003. He first gained recognition with the Reinventing Functionality project, which included the rococo radiator Heatwave, which was picked up by Droog and is now produced by Jaga. He has contributed articles and seminars to Domus magazine and has been a guest teacher at European universities including the Architectural Association School of Architecture, the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, and the Design Academy Eindhoven. Star joined forces with Laarman in 2004 during her film studies.