Aluminum-Extrusion-Based Chair Frames

It can be fun to watch a design team that’s obsessed with a particular material or joinery method. In this case it’s Belgian design firm Duplex Studio, and the point of interest for them is aluminum extrusions that provide T-track functionality.

“Since the beginning of the 20th century, aluminium extrusion has been an established [part of the] industrial landscape. It allows rapid and large-scale production of light and strong parts. The latest innovation in this technology is the «T-slots». Their cross structures increase the durability and strength of the material, while their strength-to-weight ratio makes them versatile for many applications. In addition to this, standard slots allow a wide variety of standardised connections.”

“To date, the applications of T-slots are mainly limited to the industrial sector. Based on Bauhaus movement and its interpretation of industrial materials, we explore with Amai, how to infuse sensitivity to industrial materials.”

Their Amai project looks to manipulate the extrusions into chair forms:

Are they any better or worse than chairs constructed with other methods? I don’t know, but that’s the nature of experimentation. But to hear Duplex tell it, they’re looking to liberate the extrusions themselves: “Artisanal methods humanize the material and the technique by sublimating standardized materials by hand. Through this practice, we want to free this material from its industrial nature and condition.”