MANUEL JIMÉNEZ GARCÍA: CHAIRS ARE ARCHITECTS' FAVOURITE OBJECTS

The Spanish architect specialised in digital design is passionate about exploring new types of digital fabrication, such as shapes that would be impossible to achieve with a traditional fabrication format.

For the past 10 years he has been leading Automated Architecture Ltd (AuAr), a London-based technology design consultancy where he prototypes computational design methods with industrial robots and other construction methods. It was there when he started to develop his own tools for 3D printing.



Airchaise by Manuel Jimenez Garcia for Nagami - Photo by Nagami


WHY DID YOU PREFER TO GO DOWN THE INDUSTRIAL DESIGN PATH?


I've always liked to create products because you can be incredibly creative and with the right tools you can materialise your designs almost immediately, whereas architecture is a slower process. That agility is very appealing to me.


HOW WAS "NAGAMI", YOUR COMPANY, BORN?


In 2016 I was commissioned by the Pompidou Center in Paris to make a piece that would be in an exhibition about 3D printing and also inside of the permanent exhibition of the museum.

To make it, my two partners and me decided to create a company in charge of developing a printing method with industrial robots, so we could achieve a higher quality.


Designed by: Manuel Jimenez Garcia Robotic 3d printing: Nagami Software developed with quadricular.ai Exhibited at V&A London Digital Design Weekend 2018


That company is "Nagamy", formed with Ignacio Viguera Ochoa and my brother, Miguel Ángel Jiménez García. They are in charge of the manufacturing while I am the creative designer of 70% of the pieces.

Already in 2018 the company has been officially launched at Milan Salone del Mobile presenting pieces developed in collaboration with Zaha Hadid, Ross Lovegrove and Daniel Widrig. Since that moment the company has started to gain presence in the design world.

WHAT EXCITES YOU ABOUT DIGITAL DESIGN?


I am very technical and at the same time very artistic. I'm always researching construction or design techniques and I like to find out what kind of design would take that technique to the extreme.



VoxelChair1-05_Detail1

WHAT TECHNIQUES HAVE YOU TAKEN TO THE EXTREME?

In 3D printing there have been several aspects of research that I have developed in the company. One of them is for the speed and optimisation of printing, in other words, how to make pieces that have uniqueness and high quality, and at the same time can be materialised in 3 hours or so. We have also printed 3 and a half meter sculptures in a single print, which is something that didn't exist in 3D printing.

I love to explore taking banal objects like a door for example, and think about how that object can change and become something much more innovative with other kinds of shapes using 3D printing.



Voxel Chair v.1.0 by Design Computation Lab Design: Manuel Jiménez Garcia and Gilles Retsin Fabrication-Support: Nagami Design, Vicente Soler Year: 2016


HOW HAS YOUR STYLE CHANGED OVER TIME?


As I have a better understanding of the technology we use, I now explore in a more natural way what kind of shapes and textures we can achieve. There comes a time when the tool itself asks you to explore more. And you can see that in the evolution of the products we make.

WHAT ARE YOUR ARTISTIC INFLUENCES?


The influences are constant and beneficial, I always follow those who are exploring new forms. One of my references are Ross Lovegrobe, Tom Dixon, Luigi Colani, Joe Colombo, and in the field of architecture, Thom Main, Zaha Hadid, José Miguel de Prada Poole, and I could go on and on mentioning more names.

CONVERTED


WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU LIKE TO WORK WITH?


With recycled plastic. I think we have a duty and an obligation to work with waste materials. Plastic is an unlimited source of material since only 9% of what is produced is recycled and the rest ends up in landfills and in the ocean. Getting to work with this material and giving it a new life is one of my goals.

VoxelChair

WHY DO YOU FOCUS MORE ON PRODUCING CHAIRS?


We also have worked with interiors such as walls that became furniture and generate other types of environments or pavilions.

However, chairs or sofas are objects that in the world of design are more similar to architecture. A chair has to have a structural capacity because it has to have a distribution of material, and it is calculated in a very similar way to a portal of a building. That's why chairs are the favorite objects of architects. They say that every major architect has designed a major chair.


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MP

For DareClan


Credits to the images: Photos of the Airchaise taken by Paula Jimenez and the Nobu's chair by Nagami Design