Monday, March 30, 2015

The advantage of IKEA Hacking

Chapter 1

I am in the process of building my new favourite thing - they are all my favourites. This design was particularly challenging - given the desire to create a a elements of symmetry - and balance - in a difficult space. I am using my favourite material - plastic laminate from ABET - nice, white, high-gloss. My favourite thing about laminates is the ability to create large seamless surfaces - properly prepared substrate will produce superior results - large flawless sheen. Put that together with some detailing and proportions and you got yourself a beaute! 

Not only it is a nice design, I am have the pleasure of building it properly - just as it should - the right material used in an appropriate way - structurally superior. It just feels right. 

The right materials are always used for the appropriate purpose. Exterior plywood that is glued and screwed together will make for a nice rigid base - it will need it - it will fill with books in no time. Bookcases are so nice to design and build because they are put to use immediately - they just fill up with books right away - the new owners take advantage of the increased functionality immediately. 

In front you can see the bottom of the torsion box that will be used to create the two slabs. The really nice, I wanna say 'luxurious', detail is the curvature of the horizontal slabs - they are very subtle - gentle sweep across the bookcases - top and bottom. On top, two boxes with dividers - the most optimum way of utilizing that space, but still making it look really good. Curved elements always require making of a template that is then used to fabricate the finished piece.- it's an additional cost. Here, I bend a plank to achieve a fair curve. 

Chapter 2 - Semihandmade has done it!

IKEA only makes profitable decisions.  Semihandmade, from California, is just riding that wave! Ever since the launch of the SEKTION, Semihandmade has dramatically expanded their selection of doors - seriously. Are we talking a Renaissance of American manufacturing? 

New production technology has led to great improvements on what can be achieved in melamine - a sheetgood, particle-core - no longer limited to flat, single colour, with dull texture - melamine nowadays is...fashionable! - that's the term I would use - and it is going to be a dated look at some point in the future, I predict - that's just my personal opinion as a designer.