The Dutch designer Dirk Vander Kooij designed a version of “endless chair” for his project called ‘Endless’, where his most faithful assistant was a Fanuc robot.
Dirk Vander Kooij graduated from the Design Academy in Eindhoven in 2009 with his ‘Endless’ project: creator of innovative products of great visual impact, combining traditional techniques and new technologies where his main tool is an industrial robot. In 2010 Design Academy Eindhoven exhibited chairs made of molten refrigerators as raw material for the presentation of Dirk Vander Kooij’s degree.
Automation to be harmonized with different techniques opened new doors to design providing a very flexible design process. Dirk Vander Kooij He taught a robot his art by providing him with the skills to make furniture from a plastic rope.
The Fanuc robot was rescued, at a rate of 140,000 hours in a Chinese production line, this robot with its low resolution and with new software had a new opportunity. This robust tool improved its movement ability by making them more continuous. This turned it into a prototype machine programmed to extrude the plastic into a long rope and fold it from side to side until a chair was formed.
When the first plastic chairs were made, they began with tools and molds quite simple to form the plastic. The simple tools were easy to modify and this gave the designer the opportunity to evaluate the final product and adjust the tools and include a robotic automated system.
Dirk Vander Kooij said, “From these experiences, I learned to change between thinking about concepts and building them. This way of working guarantees that the real design comes not only from a vision in the mind but also from “real constructive” concepts developed in the workshop.”
Initially, the artist was looking for a production process that would adapt to products without complex molds, the material he chose was recycled plastic to present a different perspective so that the design of the chair was unique, the factors that showed the difference in its elaboration, structure, and color was just the recycled plastic that proposed a different color and tone, it is even a material that can be crushed again and used to create other designs
The fact of having used recycled plastic in this work was a challenge of being sustainable without thinking about it, showing us a limited path, which led to automation.
According to the artist, the idea of making own designs tell the story of a step-by-step investigation, a complete project that satisfies the result of an original product.
Dirk Vander Kooij is now interested in rapid prototyping, with the aim of making the production process more evident and recognized. Fanuc’s robotic arm is constantly innovating, with robotic models optimizing efficiency in the design and process performance. The continuous development of these machines brings them closer and closer to creative processes.