This past weekend, contemporist.com attended the IDSWest design show in Vancouver, Canada, where we met Kevin Wharton of Designers at Large. Kevin was exhibiting the FlatFish no.1 prototype, which is designed to be used in small apartments, and can transform from a chair to a coffee table, bedside table, or bench.
Description of FlatFish Furniture
In many cities, we are finding ourselves living in increasingly smaller condominiums and apartments. Many people are discovering the challenge of furnishing these small spaces with traditional furniture. In response to this trend Designers at Large is developing a line of furniture specifically created for living in small spaces.
Inspired by the evolutionary marvels of the humble flatfish, the FlatFish Furniture series is conceived as furniture pieces that adapt to our urban lifestyles.
As a bottom dweller the flatfish has undergone evolutionary transformations that make it adept in this environment. Most notable is the corporeal shift, a rotation of ninety degrees, allowing it to maintain a position close to the bottom of the ocean. This transformation gives it its most obvious peculiarity – the presence of both eyes on one side of its head. The body also exhibits certain asymmetries, but it is the head region that shows the most pronounced evolutionary changes in the skeletal system. The skin also has the capacity to camouflage the fish, allowing it to blend in with the sandy or muddy bottom of the sea at all times.
FlatFish Furniture no.1 prototype
When not being used as a dining chair FlatFish no. 1 is used as a small coffee table, bedside table or a bench. This adaptation allows occupants of small condos to have dining parties of six or more people without worrying about finding the space to store chairs, which remain unused for a majority of the time.
FlatFish no. 1 is constructed from molded FSC plywood for the seat and back/tabletop, with legs waterjet cut from ¼” plate steel. Waterjet cutting technology is highly flexible, while also being relatively inexpensive allowing for high degree of design freedom and customization. The process also allows us to use every possible square inch of material, minimizing waste. The scrap material, or ‘skeleton’, from cutting the FatFish legs will be used to create over 500 necklace pendants. We call these jewelry pieces Rem[a]inders. For us these remainders remind us to take responsibility for the allocation of our resources.