Mathias Bengtsson, a Danish-born, London-based designer crafts furniture that is both visually striking and technically innovative. His concept can be best explained in his own words: “I’m trying to create an artificial universe where we can grow things as nature would.”
Inspired by nature, Bengtsson designed the ‘Big Growth Table’. The process he used to design it was rather unconventional though. It was formed by growing a “digital seed” in a virtual world. Bengtsson used a biomimicry process in which a digital seed emulates natural growth by imitating some of nature’s rules and methods. Before 3D printing this digital design with Materialise, the first step Bengtsson took was to craft a wooden ‘Growth Table’ using traditional techniques. The 1.6-m-long table was first assembled from several carved walnut parts. The bigger, 3D Printed brother table stands at 4.2m long in solid bronze.
With his ‘Growth Table’ and ‘Growth Chair’ series Bengtsson has created sculptural, organic works that resemble the tangled roots of trees. Despite being fabricated with technologically innovative practices, Bengtsson manages to keep his pieces surprisingly organic. The Danish designer still abides by the traditional architectural process of sketching by hand and modeling in clay (see his process in the YouTube video below). However, he then combines his ideas with sophisticated 3D printing techniques. This combination of industrial techniques and traditional carpentry is what makes his work so exciting and innovative.
“The furniture parameters get embedded in the digital seed; however, the form is not defined ahead of time and instead emerges as a result of the growth process coded into the seed” says Mathias Bengtsson. The ‘Big Growth Table’ made its public debut at the Galerie Maria Wettergren at Design Miami 2014, and was displayed next to its smaller wooden twin table.
The 'Big Growth Table' is currently at the MAKING A DIFFERENCE / A DIFFERENCE IN MAKING exhibition at the BOZAR in Brussels, an exhibition about 3D Printing made in collaboration with Materialise which runs until June 23, 2015. In addition to seeing the Big Growth Table in person, check out 10 more reasons why you should not miss this 3D printing exhibition.