Jólan van der Wiel defies gravity
Gerrit Rietveld Academie graduate uses super strength magnet to make uniquely shaped furniture
Dutch designer Jólan van der Wiel has been developing furniture made using a unique combination of magnetic plastic and gravity to create objects that are as strange as they are beautiful. Van der Wiel studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, an institution renowned for its highly conceptual and experimental approach to teaching and which routinely encourages its students to push the boundaries of design. It was during his time here that he created the process by which his amazing magnetic creations are born. He placed iron shavings and liquid plastic in a bowl below a magnetic block attached to a pulley and lowered it slowly until the magnetic force prompted the mixture below to rise upwards in jagged stalagmite-like formations towards the magnet. These crystalline constructions would then become the legs of his Gravity Stools. The video below, shot by Miranda Stet, poetically demonstrates the process taking place.
"Departing from the idea that everything is influenced by gravitation, a force that has a strongly shaping effect, I intended to manipulate this natural phenomenon by exploiting its own power: magnetism," the designer explains. "The positioning of the magnetic fields in the machine, opposing each other, largely determines the final shape of the Gravity Stool.”
The organic appearance and unique formation of each stool is connected to the growth of natural organisms. “The forms and products are characterised by the freakish and organic shapes so typical of nature itself.” His innovative approach to design has just won him the prestigious [D3] Contest for young designers at the imm Cologne Fair. Van der Wiel’s product was chosen from 689 entries from 44 different countries.
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