Project name: Megaweave

Manufacturer: Sampietro, Italy

photography: Andrea Raffin

description :  outdoor seating made of interlaced forged iron bars, Ø75 h 40

“Designing the seemingly impossible”

We all know “Weaving” as a technique commonly used in textiles in which two distinct groups of threads running vertically and horizontally are interlaced to form a fabric. In fact the horizontal threads typically weave their way under and over the vertical threads.

With “Weber” ,meaning weaver in German, as a surname I am naturally interested in this age-old technique and so it has Sampietro is based in the district area of Como, an area famously known for some of the finest weaves, woven from fine silk threads. So I chose to work with the other extreme and used a 2 cm profile iron bar instead of the hair-fine silk.

The forgers of Sampietro turned into temporary weavers and used the malleability of the red hot iron to translate the textile technique into giant scale, interlacing horizontal and vertical bars. At the same time the 2 cm profiles were worked with the force of a hammer and fine-tuned skill into 7cm ribbons to create a comfortable seating surface. Unlike textile fibers however which remain soft, the iron bars when cooled down magically return rigid and form a very sturdy structure. With only six interlaced iron loops and a lot of skill and sweat the Megaweave seating is formed.

With this workshop Sampietro has given us a great opportunity to get acquainted and play with the endless possibilities of forged iron, many of which impossible to realize with industrial techniques. Their challenge to us designers was to break out of the “forged iron clichés” and find a contemporary key for this age-old technique. Our challenge to them was to forge the seemingly impossible and I think they have succeeded with bravura.