Alexander
Rulkens
interaction designer creative coder explorer

Design for Download

Putting furniture design in the hands of users.

Press-fit boxes

We developed three different tools together with industrial designers. These tools can be used to create your own, customized furniture.

This project has been exhibited in Milan in 2011. One of the tools, Box-O-Rama is now available on the Droog website.

Try it!

Year

2011-2013

Client

Droog

My role

Design & backend implementation of three furniture design tools

Team

Tal Erez

,

Mario Minale

,

Sander Hofstee

,

Wouter Walmink

Tech

Flash / Actionscript

Design for download

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Democratising Design

The unique approach to this project was the reason Droog contacted us. Their intention was to set up a platform for open, democratic design where products and product plans could be shared freely. For this, you need the whole design process to be as transparent and open as possible. As tool designers, we have the ability to visualize the ideas of the designer and show them visually to the user. The output of every tool is a file that can be shared and produced everywhere.

Video from Design for Download launch

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Box-O-Rama

Product description of design made by Tal Erez from EventArchitectuur:

Create your shelving composition by selecting and arranging scalable enclosures. The dragging and dropping of boxes gives an endless range of options.

Example of a Box-O-Rama design

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While Wouter designed the interface, I spend most of my time on the backend side together with Tal, creating templates and programming the system so it could create production-ready files. I translated his ideas into customizable parts. Since all the parts were supposed to be press-fit, the design had to be accurate to fractions of a millimeter.

The interface of the Box-O-Rama tool

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Facades & Functions

Product description of design made by Tal Erez from EventArchitectuur:

Simply match a facade typology with functions of your choice to make a desk, cabinet or closet. With many other users making their own combinations, you are contributing to a growing collection of furniture.

Facades & Functions: wireframe & final model

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Much of the work from Box-O-Rama could be reused for this design so I spend most of my time on an accurate isometric representation of the design that changed in real-life to give the user a feel for size and depth.

The interface of the Facades & Functions tool

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Wannabe Permanent

Product description of design made by Mario Minale:

A furniture system of infinite variations is made from standard wooden frames and metal fasteners. It can be dressed with the fabric of your choosing, or you can even buy a few outfits, and change them from time to time. Simplicity of construction meets choice.

Wannabe Permanent: 3D model and final design

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With Mario and Sander I worked on creating templates for fabric cutting and devised a way to represent the design on the backend as an interactive building guide. The wooden elements would be cut to length and the user would see precisely how to assemble the object.

The interface of the Wannabe Permanent tool

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Exhibition in Milan

The designs and design tools have been exhibited at the Design Fair in Milan in 2011. Visitors had the chance to play with the tools and to see how the final objects were made.

Design for Download in Milan

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