Palo-Alto-based designer Robby Cuthbert studied both sculpture and architecture. The melding of both fields has yielded his approach to furniture design: "I combine the careful planning and engineering mindset characteristic of architecture," he writes, "with the freedom of form allowed by sculpture."
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One of Cuthbert's go-to materials is one we don't see too often in furniture: Steel cable. By exploiting the natural properties of cable, he's able to create pieces like his Contour Coffee Table, whose four CNC-milled Plyboo leg supports never actually touch each other, thanks to tensegrity:
His Sculptural Desk Chair applies the same principles to seating:
And even his take on the Adirondack Chair gets the Golden Gate Bridge treatment:
Cuthbert says that he starts designing by creating independent sculptures first, absent any thoughts of real furniture, then later adapts them into something more practical.
"Before I began designing functional items, all of my wood and wire creations were abstract sculptures," he writes. "Nowadays, I often turn to sculpture as a way of generating new ideas. Sometimes the process of making a sculpture results in an idea for a new product, while other times I find I have no way to implement a design in any practical way."
The ones for sale on Cuthbert's Etsy page are the designs that made the cut. You can also check out his sculptures, including ones that weren't translated into furniture, here.