Tape Wound Borne, 2004

Moorhead & Moorhead

Location: New York, New York
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The Moorhead brothers belong to a growing cadre of architects and designers interested in reappropriating industrial techniques and materials to make everyday objects. Relying on Granger’s expertise in architecture and Robert’s knowledge of industrial design, they aspire to maintain a practice which allows design exploration at a variety of scales. Their collaboration over the last five years has produced a consistently refined group of furniture, from chairs and lighting to room dividers, ready for production and distribution to the home.

Tape Wound Borne, resembling an oversized ball of twine, is a fiber-reinforced bench/table made using tapewinding, an automated manufacturing technique commonly employed for products ranging from golf-club shafts to aircraft fuselages. Thermoplastic tape is heated and applied to a mandrel in a continuous wrapping pattern. Once the plastic has cooled, the mandrel is removed, leaving a lightweight latticework structure. As Granger explains, “Part of what makes our design process special is letting a material create a language of its own.…When we design objects we look at it more as an engineering project.”

In Cargo Wall, the Moorheads cleverly utilize polypropylene webbing, commonly used in backpacks and dogleashes, formed into loops to create a room divider and giant vertical storage. The use of webbing in a wall was partially inspired by the webbed chairs of Jens Risom, but also derives from the brothers’ particular interest in finding a lightweight means of support. The frame system for Cargo Wall is an adjustable tensioning system that allows it to be held in place by the floor and ceiling. The first test of the wall was with their competition-winning design for the Metropolis magazine booth at the 2005 International Contemporary Furniture Fair, where the designers created an animated face to the booth using issues of the magazine. Like Moorhead & Moorhead, Cargo Wall bridges the gap between furniture and architecture.