Fabricwood, an installation for premium designer furniture store Xtra in Singapore on behalf of Herman Miller, has been named as the World Interior of the Year for 2017. The project, conceived by Produce.Workshop, has beaten over 200 entries and 78 finalists across nine categories to be named the World Interior of the Year.
Fabricwood is a 20m by 7m sail made of lightweight plywood, which stretches across the space like a terse fabric. Propped up by a series of arches that frame the entrances and connect the store to the street and the adjacent café, the structure guides the customer from the 3m entrance to an 8m glass curtain at the end.
A traditional tailoring technique called ‘darting’ was used to shape the plywood. A continuous iteration and loop between computation and physical modelling served to calibrate the darts and their respective angles on a flat piece of plywood which helped to determine its eventual curvature when closed. Circular cut-outs were used at the converging point of the darts to allow the plywood to bend and avoid tears. When assembled, the structure formed a naturally undulating surface much like ruched fabric.
The inspiration for the design came from a clear understanding of the brand; Herman Miller’s core products and the philosophy, culture and aspirations of the company. Learning from the design processes of the work chairs, which combine formal, structural and material innovation based on ergonomic research to create a surface that moulds comfortably to the human body, Produce.Workshop sought to develop a ‘skin’ for the Herman Miller store that was ‘moulded’ to its host – Xtra. The structure was made to resemble a bazaar, where simple tent canopies are pulled across the street to create a makeshift marketplace with an approachable and casual atmosphere.