OBJECTILE Sans-Titre (1998)

“Objectile developed these wood panels in 1998, their forms having first been calculated by computer programs. The firm then generated the program for their fabrication on computer-assisted manufacturing machines. Essentially “decorative” (a descriptive term that Objectile fully assumes), these rectangular elements are intended for uses as diverse as soundproofing (acoustical tiles), cladding for walls, and coverings for floors and ceilings, as well as furnishings and cabinetry (e.g. cupboard doors). Composed of plywood – in birch or gaboon – or in medium-density fiberboard, irregularly perforated, pierced or scraped with wave patterns, calligraphy, etc., they are painted, dyed, lacquered or varnished. Objectile manufactures other objects as well, with more complex forms, and always cut by digitally programmed machines.  The firm proposes an infinite range of patterns, colors and forms, espousing a vision of the design process in which the user, who until now was merely free to choose from among pre-existing elements, can now intervene at the decision-making stage for fabrication. Using this same process, Objectile also creates objects with more complex forms, which look like handmade abstract sculptures in wood. Here, the folded torus – inspired by the eponymous classical mathematical form, which is very difficult to draw by hand (Piero della Francesca tried his hand at it during the Renaissance) – was generated by a digital design tool that morphed it into a baroque form. Following this research, Bernard Cache and Patrick Beaucé imagined a more specifically architectural application, using the tool to designing spaces composed of wood panels. A good example of this work, the Pavillon Semper,was presented at Archilab (1999) and at the 1999 Batimat trade show. In this pavilion, “every element is the result of a model that is open to variation.””