Wood-Skin + Biesse, dynamic design becomes intelligent
Digital material. This is how Giulio Masotti, the founder of Wood-Skin, defines his creation: two layers of wood joined together ("Or indeed, two layers of another material", he specifies) and a central layer of fabric.
Via a process of removal, this solution allows for the creation of hinges which offer exceptionally high resistance. And so, masterpieces of creativity and dynamism are born - infinite combinations of architectural shapes and forms with an artisan touch and a metropolitan flavour.
With his three partners, Stefano Baruffaldi, Susanna Todeschini and Gianluca Lo Presti, Giulio founded Wood-Skin in 2013, putting their names to what would go on to become a patented industrial process to serve a specific purpose, "to realize complex forms in a simple and economical manner, both in terms of the surroundings being created and the design itself," explains Giulio. "This is our response to the many issues that we have experienced first hand during the planning process".
Necessity was clearly a major driver, but also a powerful desire to experiment, leading the young team to develop a unique creation with infinite applications, "bridging the gap that exists between the possibilities of digital representation through CAD software and the constructed environment, which is very marked as things stand at present. Wood-Skin is a digital material that aims to fully exploit the potential of CNC machines - and thus of digital manufacturing - through the use of an intelligent composite material that makes it possible to create an unlimited number of high-strength hinges wherever you wish».
Innovation, technology, creativity: Biesse and Wood-Skin share a strong identity and a common vocation, and came together to share their experience at Ventura-Lambrate, during the Salone del Mobile. "We wanted to explore the potential for working together in the future, with smart materials such as Wood-Skin and our shared passion for innovation. With the assistance of MIT Boston, we launched a collaborative project, which is both experimental and yet extremely practical: the Programmable Table. This new concepts embodies the vision of a future where items of furniture will be able to self-assemble once completed by the machine that produces them. This is not merely a prototype, but rather a concrete result which will give rise to a line of products in the not-too-distant future" .
This scenario may seem futuristic, but in reality, it is extremely practical, if supported by a suitable level of expertise which is able to give shape to ideas, in a simple and straightforward manner. Like the Excel machining centre by Biesse. "The centre is extremely precise, versatile and efficient, allowing us to implement our patented process. We try to take full advantage of the considerable potential of the machine, and the fact that it is a tool capable of performing an unlimited number of precise and complex machining operations. This,when combined with an innovative material like Wood-Skin,can produce a range of unusual, unconventional results. Biesse machines allow us to change the state of the material itself: not via a chemical process, but instead by changing the macro-behaviour of the material through the removal of certain elements. This is communicated via a custom version of Excel, allowing us to transfer wood and other materials from a solid state to a digital state, in which the material becomes intelligent and is ready to take on other forms, once it has been removed from the machine" .
If the Programmable Table represented an ambitious perspective on the future of furniture, the installations created for Biesse at Ligna 2015 reflect a common vision, where the term smart becomes the magic word which gives shape and value to ideas. "The basis of all of these projects was a creative meeting, in which we decided that our common goal was to make our mark, and to show what can be created by combining smart materials (Wood-Skin) and smart machines (Biesse)," explains Giulio. «We have devised a number of elements with a Low Poly aesthetic, which are placed on the sides of a videowall we made for Venice Design Week, and connected by animated digital graphics. A truly digital material in every way! The ceiling and the reception desk in the reception area demonstrate the results of our "standard" pattern, three-dimensional surfaces for high-profile, high-impact coverings, with easy transportation and installation".
It almost seems pointless to ask this team of young people about the next step they will be taking, having seen and felt the extreme flexibility of their product first-hand. "Wood-Skin is a system that can be implemented across an almost infinite range of solutions, to create objects and surfaces with new and unexpected characteristics, both in terms of aesthetics and function. We are currently working to integrate audio, light and movement into our surfaces". From touch, passing from sight and sound: it seems that achieving a multi-sensory experience is the new goal.