Grill prototype for Alessi, 2005

Greg Lynn FORM

Location: Venice, California
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When Greg Lynn relocated his architecture practice to Venice, California, in 1998, it was to take advantage of the presence of Southern California’s advanced design and manufacturing technologies for use in aeronautic, automotive, and product design. Lynn, one of contemporary architecture’s most provocative thinkers, constantly searches for new technologies and manufacturing methods to make his complex architectural forms a reality. Recently, he has turned his talents to product design as well.

Lynn combines his exploration of advanced digital design with a strong belief in craftsmanship. Greg Lynn FORM was one of the first design studios to invest in a computer-controlled milling robot that can shape foam, plastic, wood, and aluminum into physical models at various scales. The studio specializes in converting digital form into coded paths which direct advanced manufacturing tools to generate physical models and prototypes. As a result, Lynn is able to fully articulate his formal and ornamental vocabulary of intricate textures and voluptuous curves.

In 2003, renowned Italian design company Alessi commissioned Lynn and a number of other architects to design coffee and tea services. The flower-like form of Lynn’s prototype, which Alessi produced in a limited edition in 2003, echoes forms he explored on an architectural scale in projects such as the Ark of the World Museum in Costa Rica. While Lynn’s exceptionally innovative forms may, in many cases, be too advanced for current building and construction methods, they lend themselves perfectly to the scale of product design. The Alessi coffee and tea service inspired Lynn to develop other products for the company. His Supple Cups, made of bone china, launched in November 2005, are deceptive: their bulging amorphous shapes look as if they are made of a malleable material distorted by the imprint of a human hand or the liquid volume contained inside. Lynn’s Alessi flatware and grill are in the prototype stage. The flatware, due to be launched in 2006, recalls the sinuous tendrils of Art Nouveau, with the shape of each utensil suggesting a stem, leaf, or flower.