Innovation That Matters


New collection of vases uses machine-led design

Computing & Tech

An Iraqi designer has released a collection of vases that have been designed and created largely by machine.

Spotted: Iraqi-born and UAE-based architect and designer Layth Mahdi makes products that challenge the boundaries of art, science and technology. His work investigates the relationship between the beauty of materials and the elegant precision of advanced production processes, digital fabrication methods and robotics. His first collection, debuted during Dubai Design Week, was generated by algorithms and fabricated by robots.

Mahdi’s collection, dubbed Ripple, is made up of vases and tables that were cut from Vermont and Georgia marble. The products were first designed using parametric modelling. They were then cut using water jets by an industrial robotic arm at the Quarra Stone robotic facility. According to Mahdi, the “idea is to take something people perceive as solid and rigid and make it – through the use of highly advanced robots – look very fluid, organic and light.”

There are a total of eight pieces in the collection – seven vases and one coffee table. The vases each took around eight hours to cut, while the table was cut over a 24-hour period. Mahdi sees the project as a collaboration between robots and humans, saying, “Humans can do certain things perfectly, while robots are designed to do other tasks better, faster and more accurately. They both have their own skills and limitations.” The work joins other design-led innovations we have covered here at Springwise, including a bench that doubles as a lifeboat and a wheelchair for air passengers.




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