Emeco and renowned architect Frank Gehry have collaborated once again, this time in the development a one-of-a-kind large scale bench which will be presented during the Salone del Mobile in Milan, April 22 -27 2009. Named Tuyomyo (Spanish for "Yours and Mine"), this is the second time Emeco and Gehry have cooperated on a project, the first being the creation of the all-aluminum Superlight chair launched at the Salone in 2004 and recently accepted into the Museum of Modern Art's permanent design collection. The new bench will be auctioned in May, proceeds of which will fund the Leslie Gehry Brenner Award of the Hereditary Disease Foundation (HDF).
Frank Gehry's mandate was simple, "The form has to be free and light. It must be structural, and at the same time poetic. And a little dangerous."
Using 80% recycled aluminum components and aircraft manufacturing technology, as well as hand craftsmanship - this exclusive Tuyomyo bench further reinforces Gehry's intuitive design vision and Emeco's expertise in crafting aluminum. Gehry developed ideas for the bench during the time he worked on the Superlight chair for Emeco in 2004.
What started as a sketching of ideas has become a conceptual project for the company and one that will raise funds and awareness for HDF.
Frank and Berta Gehry were founding trustees of the Hereditary Disease Foundation in 1968. They are deeply passionate about and committed to its mission - to cure brain diseases. Proceeds from the sale of Tuyomyo will benefit a research fund established in 2008 in honor of Frank's late daughter - The Leslie Gehry Brenner Award for Innovation in Science.
"We didn't start with the intention of making a product - we wanted to explore the possibility of using huge pieces of aluminum to make a large scale project. Once we really got into it, we found we were onto something amazing and Frank suggested we use it to support his Foundation," said Gregg Buchbinder, Emeco's Chairman. "Combining CNC equipment with traditional hand craft, we were able to make a three meter long wing of polished aluminum. The trouble was making the wing strong enough to cantilever over the truss and remain stable. That's when we found an aircraft part manufacturer with huge solution tempering furnaces that made it super strong. But it took many trials and failures to get it right. Each time the result was unpredictable - like Raku ceramic firing - the aluminum took its own, unique organic form. When we saw the final bench though, we knew we had fulfilled Frank's directive and we thought maybe we could use even these ideas for a future product."
The project for the new Emeco bench fulfilled Gehry's desire to design something unique that will benefit the Leslie Gehry Brenner Award of the Hereditary Disease Foundation (HDF), a cause that he is deeply passionate about. HDF aims to cure genetic illness by supporting basic biomedical research and uses Huntington's Disease as its model. Buchbinder used the opportunity to find a way to manipulate and temper large pieces of aluminum for use in future product designs. The result is sculptural bench, a wholly new form - and an attempt to use design for the common good.
The special Tuyomyo Bench has gone through many changes during various stages of development since the team began working on the project last summer. The final all-aluminum bench features a three meter (9 ft.) hand polished "wing" of offset trapezoids supported by a brushed "truss". It weighs only 55.3 Kg (122 Ibs.) Tuyomyo will be presented by Emeco at the Salone Del Mobile in Milan in April 2009, Hall 12, Stand C10.