SWISG Stool by Carlo Ratti Associati - Courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati.

SWISG Stool by Carlo Ratti Associati – All photos by Daniele Iodice, courtesy by Carlo Ratti Associati.

Milan 2017 – Digital technology merges with craftsmanship. Carlo Ratti has teamed with Cassina to develop SWISH, a kinetic wooden stool-prototype. An Italian craftsman made use of a Carlo Ratti Associati patented system based on the concept of implicit programming – a.k.a. using digital fabrication to create objects that are pre-programmed to take different shapes.


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SWISG Stool by Carlo Ratti Associati - Courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati.

Produced with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machinery, SWISH is a lightweight seat made of 27 thin, rounded wooden elements. The components are interlocked through a system of individually designed junctions and hinges, each different from the other.

SWISG Stool by Carlo Ratti Associati - Courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati.

SWISH parametric design would not be possible with traditional fabrication methods. Thanks to a system of hinges, SWISH can be swiftly folded and hung to a wall, shifting in just a few seconds. Once closed, the seat reveals a surprisingly slender, comb-like shape.

SWISG Stool by Carlo Ratti Associati - Courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati.

How can we use mathematically controlled geometry to ‘teach’ a given material how to behave?” Says Carlo Ratti, Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston and a founding partner of Carlo Ratti Associati.

SWISG Stool by Carlo Ratti Associati - Courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati.

An initial version of SWISH emerged from a competition organized by the Milan-based workshop Miocugino in spring 2016. The initiative brought together both renowned designers and a group of young ‘Makers’ from all over the world, all tasked with a common goal: designing a hardware-free stool by using wood elements coming from a unique wood sheet. Carlo Ratti Associati won the prize, and an early version of the seat was released in open source.

SWISG Stool by Carlo Ratti Associati - Courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati.

The prototype of SWISH was presented at Milan Design Week 2017 in the framework of Cassina 9.0 – an exhibition curated by Patricia Urquiola to celebrate the company’s 90th anniversary.


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SWISG Stool by Carlo Ratti Associati - Courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati.

All photos: courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati.

SWISG Stool by Carlo Ratti Associati - Courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati.

SWISG Stool by Carlo Ratti Associati - Courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati.