Haute Design: Spun (Coriolis) by Thomas Heatherwick

An object of desire, Spun (Coriolis) by Thomas Heatherwick is a functional chair constituted by a single profile rotated through 360 degrees. From a static domestic seat the object is thus transformed into a beautifully rendered spinning top incorporating the virtues of spinning metal.

Spun (Coriolis) was presented during the last Milan Furniture Fair which took place from 12 to 17 April 2011. It was shown as part of an installation composed of four sculptures in carbon steel and bronzed brass. The work is inspired by the “Coriolis effect” named after the French physicist who in 1835 described the apparent deformation of moving objects when they are observed from a rotating reference frame. Spun (Coriolis) is available in four experimental finishes which emphasize the expressive qualities of the metal used.

Spun (Coriolis) reveals who a static piece of sculpture becomes a playful piece of design. The concept of the piece was influenced from Heatherwick’s love of the traditional manufacturing technique used for making large timpani drums. When turned upright, Spun (Coriolis) is transformed into glowing sculptural vase. It is only when the piece is lent on its side that the viewer becomes aware of its many playful possibilities.  When seated upon, the sitter is able to swivel in a circular motion which includes the possibility of being able to rotate around in a full circle.

The experimental chair is produced in Italy by renowned Italian design firm Marzorati Ronchetti. Its surface has “rippled” effect or multiple horizontal grooves which work to further accentuate to the piece’s rotation effect. In addition, the peripheral edge and foot of the chair include a leather trim in order to hinder damage to the floor. Each chair is assembled with six metal spinners and welded and polished to create an effective uniform surface.

Heatherwick has created limited editions of  Spun (Coriolis) with Mazorati Ronchetti whioh are sold in London by Haunch of Venison.

Born in 1970,  Thomas Heatherwick founded the Heatherwick Studio in London in 1994 after graduating from the Royal College of Art. Among the studio’s works are La Maison Unique, a single brand store for the French luxury brand Longchamp, in New York; the multi-award winning East Beach Café in Littlehampton; the Paddington Bridge and the British Pavilion for the Shanghai Exposition which was inaugurated in May 2010.

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