BREEDING TABLES uses a custom genetic algorithm which pairs—breeds—designs with one another in order to create a new design for each table. First conceived in 2003, BREEDING TABLES has since given birth to generations of tables, each unique from one another. As the product of BREEDING TABLES is not a single table, but an indefinite number of different tables, the project represents a radical departure from the idea of designing one product to be mass manufactured as a reproduction of the original prototype.
BREEDING TABLES’ embodies Kram and Weisshaar’s approach of integrating product design with process development in order to find new connections between the digitally networked world and the physical objects that surround us. As an ongoing project, BREEDING TABLES marks a departure from established methods of mass reproduction using original prototypes, and instead explores the possibilities of what happens when you apply the principles of biomimicry and articifical intelligence to product design.
The influence of BREEDING TABLES and its approach to design can be seen in other KRAM/WEISSHAAR projects such as MULTITHREAD, R18 ULTRA CHAIR, ROBOCHOP, SmartSlab TABLE, CODE_N and VENDÔME. Examples from the BREEDING TABLES project can be found in the permenant collections of MoMA, the Pompidou and the Vitra Design Museum.
Clemens Weisshaar & Reed Kram conceived a process that uses a custom computer code to generate an indefinite number of solid construction surfaces. Taking into account the specifications of parameters like height, depth, width and load capacity, these computer-generated cutting patterns and associated processing information orchestrate computer controlled laser cutters and bending machines to seamlessly materialize three-dimensional corpuses.
The term ‘breeding’ encompasses several concepts central to the project. Each of the BREEDING TABLES are bred according to algorithmic presets, and stand equal and individual. There is no longer an ultimate product – the issue of the distinction between the original and its copy becomes irrelevant. Each table is representative of an algorithmic model, and simultaneously in its uniqueness, a model for further objects of its species.
The flexibility of present-day machines allows for the continuous implementation of modifications. The opening now emerges for the constant production of unique pieces under the conditions of and within the budget of mass production. BREEDING TABLES proposes a new industrial logic based on mass-individualization which enables an artisan-like model to suddenly gain relevance again – variation and customization become eminently possible at costs approaching that of mass manufactured products.
Montage of BREEDING TABLES legs
Tables from the BREEDING TABLES project are in the permanent collections of the Pinakothek Der Moderne, München, the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and the Museum of Modern Art, New York as well as numerous private collections. One off pieces are produced and distributed by Kram/Weisshaar while Moroso are distributing two models named COUNTACH under license.
Here we see a selection of the BREEDING TABLES created thus far.
BREEDING TABLES legs being painted