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Milan 2013: Win for Process Designer

Thomas Vailly calls himself a process designer and along with Itay Ohaly and Christian Fiebig have won the Frame Moooi Award 2013 for a project that reduces a whole furniture factory to the size of a standardized plywood palette.

By Gabrielle Kennedy / 15-04-2013

“Impulsive Furnishing Unit”, an interior design production line has won the 2013 Frame Mooi Award.  €25,000 was awarded to the trio of designers behind the concept – Thomas Vailly, Itay Ohaly and Christian Fiebig.

All three designers graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven and share a process-oriented vision.  “I’d call myself a process designer,” says French born Vailly. He studied mechanical engineering in France before moving to the Netherlands in the hope of working out how to marry his skills with a more conceptual approach.  “I didn’t really know how to be conceptual in industrial design or classic product design,” he says, “it is a slow learning curve, but this award really makes me feel good about where I have come.”

Impulsive Furnishing Unit” is a whole furniture factory reduced to the size of a standardized plywood palette.  It is a flexible manufacturing unit that can be shipped anywhere to produce interiors on location.

“We got the idea based on a personal need,” Vailly says.  “we needed to furnish an exhibition space with an installation that showed the production process.  So we asked Christian Fiebig to create a machine to do it.”

That general concept was then extended resulting in a machine that can print much more.  “Basically we can print contexts,” Vailly explains, “using a computerized milling machine which is really very traditional technology that every designer uses.  We can do restaurants, shops, museums …. anything.”

As Vailly points out, a CNC machine is not new, but what these designers have managed to create is a fresh system around the machine.  

And utilizing this same concept of a process-oriented project, Vailly has also created “Inner Fashion” with Laura Lyn Jansen, as well as “The Stool Unit” an independent project that uses latex as a mold. “’Stool Unit’ is even more about process,” he explains. “The end products are the result of how the one-man factory operates.”

Vailly wants to continue along his current path developing processes that redefine the production process.  

“I doesn’t matter if I am a designer or an engineer,” he explains, “The boundaries between disciplines are really blurring anyway.   I do whatever I need to do to push my ideas further.  I think it is becoming more important to be able to play every role.”


Thomas Vailly presented this year in Milan on the invitation of Eindhoven-based StudioKlawer.


Images: main "Impulsive Furnishing Unit" and two small from top "Stool Unit".  Bottom "Inner Fashion".

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