The Bravais armchair and the Radiolarian Sofa are part of the Honeycomb range of furniture which emerged as part of a collaborative project between furniture designer Liam Hopkins and artist Richard Sweeney at Lazerian studio, Manchester. The designers constrained themselves to the use of corrugated cardboard sourced locally from John Hargreaves’ factory in Stalybridge, which produces paper from recycled pulp using machinery originally installed in 1910. The Honeycomb Sofa and Armchair are released at Interiors 2010 with Designers Block at the NEC Birmingham, 24-27th January 2010.
The design process involved experimentation with columnar forms, which were inspired by structural forms in nature, including a wasp nest and the crystalline bone structure of microscopic sea organisms known as Radiolaria. Computer design techniques were used to generate the form of the furniture using triangular columns, which were oriented to utilise the structural properties of the cardboard. The individual components were extracted from the virtual model to create flat layouts, which were printed to create templates for transfer onto the cardboard- over two thousand components were hand cut and glued together to create the Honeycomb Sofa