Suple: Bounding Form by gt2p
Updated: Dec 8, 2019
In the world of the traditional Chilean construction there is a slang term, Suple. It’s hard to translate, but basically, it refers to an element that connects, or performs a specific task, in an improvised and flexible manner. Not a fixed joint, but a workaround, or patch. It reminds us of a question asked by the legendary designer Jean Prouvé: where does the hand end and the thumb begin?
In the Suple project, we seek to create design tools (in the first instance digitally) that function like DNA, establishing geometric continuity among 3 or more elements by means of a completely different and adaptable added element.
In Suple Bounding Form, the convex polygon is initially calculated from multiple cubic volumes, placed into a spatial relationship; the resulting three-dimensional volume is then digitally smoothed out, rendered as an increasingly fine geometric mesh (technically, subdividing the polygonal forms into smaller and smaller units). This system can be applied at any scale, and so can be used to generate architecture, public space, furniture, or smaller objects. The first pieces from this body of work are associated with domestic functions, such as tables, shelves and benches.
The shapes of Suple Bounding Form remind us of elements that we find in the landscape of the south of our country, such as basaltic rocks in the midst of exuberant vegetation, dead native trees with exposed roots, and parts of dry trunks surrounded by dense forests and volcanoes.
This association guided our material choices. Our memories of landscape are materialized in laminated solid wood, shaped by a 5-axis CNC robot, resulting in a contrast between the digital mathematical form and the natural expression of the wood. In the pieces with horizontal surfaces, like tables or seats, we have embedded black volcanic basalt.