Although design students are often encouraged to seek inspiration in unlikely places, designers are just as likely to find a muse in everyday experience. For example, we've seen several examples of how, say, the lowly clamp can be elevated beyond its prescribed utility into a one-size-fits-all set of table legs, a clever shelf or even a backlit homage.
In fact, it turns out that one of the designers behind one of these variations on the theme just can't get enough of the humble hardware: as with a previous project, Sam Weller's latest project starts with the clamp, arriving at a very different result. Where "Public Resonance" was a highly conceptual public art piece, "Holdfast" (not to be confused with these) is an investigation into minimalist furniture design.Holdfast began with the exploration of clamps and their infinite possibilities as both a tool as well as joining device.
The clamp elements that hold this range of furniture together are very simple in form and were based on the holdfast clamping system typically used for holding material to the surface of a workbench. The components are manufactured using a computer controlled wire bending device. The components are then inserted into a through hole and wedged under the material they are supporting, creating tension in the vertical leg and in turn creating a strong stiff supporting structure for shelves as well as side tables, stools and other occasional home furnishings.
Although the legs vaguely resemble Linie58's bent-wire clamp legs, "Holdfast" struts are fixed to the surfaces. Yet they're semi-modular in that the legs take only one V-shaped form, which is arranged to support a shelf or triangular side table.
As always, Weller's got a beautifully-produced video to accompany the images:
Last time we saw Weller's work, he was busy making money (so to speak); he'll be exhibiting "Holdfast" at DesignersBlock in London next month.