Sand inspires award-winning design

The inspiring thinking behind LUNAR’s Sandbox project has nabbed a Speculative Notable Award from Core 77.

Sandbox explores how to draw inspiration from a common material — in this case, sand.

“I’ve always been fascinated with the feel of casting sand and its ability to create interesting geometric forms when piled up,” says Senior Industrial Design Alex Rochat. “The challenge was in determining how to translate the tactile characteristics of the sand into something tangible.”

Taking inspiration from sand piles, Alex explored geometries created by pouring sand through thin plates with different sized and shaped openings. He then replicated and modified his findings in CAD, which yielded unusual patterns of intersecting craters.

These craters became the basis for a table design, which consists of intersecting recesses that can be used like bowls built into the table surface. “By following an unorthodox process, we were able to create an aesthetic that would have never been discovered through a conventional approach,” he says.

“I like this speculative, open-ended exploration of the grain of the material, very nicely combined with new fabrication technologies,” said one of the Core 77 judges. “It felt modern and exciting.”

“As designers, we’re always seeking new ways of practicing our craft,” Alex says. “This project shows that something as common as sand can become the catalyst for a new design.”

Congrats to Alex! See his project in action in this video:

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