Sublime Design for a Simple Chair

Tulane faculty member Ammar Eloueini is the recipient of an international grant for his unique chair design that is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Ammar Eloueini's unique chair design is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Eloueini, an associate professor in the Tulane School of Architecture, created the chair, called CoReFab No. 71, using new computer digital animation and fabrication techniques. The chair is printed using a three-dimensional printer and, due to the design and the dynamic nature of the digital fabrication process, no two chairs are alike, though they all stem from a single model.

The nonprofit organization VIA, based in Paris, awarded a grant for the fabrication of three CoReFab No. 71 chair designs, which debuted at the Paris Salon du Meuble this year. The existing chairs are part of the permanent collection of VIA Gallery in Paris. This year, Eloueini's chair design also has been exhibited in London and Milan, Italy.

Created by using computer digital animation, this chair designed by Ammar Eloueini, associate professor in the Tulane School of Architecture, has gained international recognition.

Each chair is individual, within a series of infinite possibilities, according to Eloueini.

"Each chair is unique, though they have some similarities — the same as a genetic code in a family," Eloueini says. "This moves furniture and other design projects from mass production to mass customization."

The chair marks the first time three-dimensional printing technology has been used as a full-scale form from a digitally animated computer design, Eloueini says. It is the result of a computer-designed form that is layered with varying patterns from the basic honeycomb pattern that has been animated, then slowed down moment by moment or frame by frame — much like a frame in a movie, Eloueini explains.

He teaches these techniques that have applications for ornamentation and other architectural applications in courses at the School of Architecture.

Eloueini is working with the Museum of Modern Art on a new set of chairs that will be in an upcoming exhibition called "Design and the Elastic Mind," on display Feb. 24 to May 12, 2008. The exhibition will include objects, projects and concepts offered by teams of designers, scientists and engineers from around the world.

Eloueini is involved in many other design projects, including a bus shelter that will be built in front of a New Orleans architect's workplace and trash cans for Canal Street in downtown New Orleans.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000