Interior Design and 3D Printing: Giving Unique Forms to Functional Spaces

Interior Design and 3D Printing: Giving Unique Forms to Functional Spaces

This article was originally published by Archipreneur as "3D Printing is Making Its Way into Interior Design."

3D printing – also known as additive manufacturing – turns digital 3D models into solid objects by building them up in layers. The technology was first invented in the 1980s and has since found its way into our everyday life – and in architecture and interior design. Architecture firm DUS has a vast expertise in architectural 3D printing and is now applying its expertise to interiors and retail spaces.

“3D printing is an ideal technique to tailor-produce to a space or a brand,” says Inara Nevskaya, head designer at DUS. “We can link a furniture’s functionality with unique form features to create statement pieces, special focal points that frame new experiences for the consumer in the retail landscape.”

The interior design of the new Loft Flagship store in Ginza, Tokyo marks DUS’ entrance to designing 3D printed solutions for private, public and commercial interior spaces. 3D printing allows for unparalleled design explorations: “We had the liberty to design without conventional restraints. For this design, we found great inspiration in Japanese folding and drawing techniques, which resulted in cyclic printed patterns with delicate harmonious changes.”

Because of the digital design and production, the design process was quick and flexible. The one of a kind products where digitally shared and aligned with the client, and then 3D printed in their final form. A great advantage is the high level of sustainable production, as the prints are made with a bioplastic and there is hardly any waste in the process.

Architect Jo Nagasaka of Schemata was responsible for the 3,306-square-meter overall interior design of the Loft Flagship store. He asked DUS to come up with "novel 3D printed furniture." Clients Loft acknowledged the importance as a household name warehouse to always find new ways to distinguish themselves and show their products.

DUS responded by developing 6 new furniture typologies that bring out the highlights from each product category. DUS combined 3D prints with new and known materials influenced by traditional techniques, resulting in entirely new functions and tactile features:

The Landscape Table is in the ‘innovation lab’ area, it is a statement piece that can double up as boardroom or reading table. Image © DUS and Nacása&Partners Inc
The design combines a 3D printed structure with epoxy resin, shaping a rippling 3-dimensional landscape that occasionally emerges from the translucent surface. Image © DUS and Nacása&Partners Inc
The Vanity Corner allows visitors to directly try products from the surrounded shelving. Image © DUS and Nacása&Partners Inc
The tabletop and stool-surfaces merge 3D printed patterns with a classic terrazzo infill, bringing an entirely new graphic dimension to the traditional stone material. Image © DUS and Nacása&Partners Inc
The Juice Bar forms a stage for the juicers and kitchen machines that also stand in the surrounding shelving. The open design is inspired by Japanese paper screens. Image © DUS and Nacása&Partners Inc
The Workshop Area creates an intimate playful setting to host workshops. Image © DUS and Nacása&Partners Inc
It shows the unifying impact of a continuous 3D printed pattern in all the interior elements, from the terrazzo table top to the black epoxy stools and even the concrete floor, creating one harmonious setting. Image © DUS and Nacása&Partners Inc
The Writing Counter is specially tailored to display pens and pencils. It showcases the possibilities of digital fabrication to create unique moments adapted to the product. Image © DUS and Nacása&Partners Inc
A thin metal writing surface is grounded by a sculptural monolithic 3D printed volume with open top, which serves as a display element for stationary items. Image © DUS and Nacása&Partners Inc

All the elements and materials were developed and produced in close collaboration with Aectual, a company specialized in 3D printed interior and building products, which launched its first line of products during Dutch Design Week 2017.

Location: Loft Flagship store in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan

Project Data:

  • Architect/Designer: DUS architects
  • Design Team: Inara Nevskaya, Hans Vermeulen, Ivo Toplak, Alessandro Giacomelli, Onur Can Tepe, Jay Chenault
  • Client: Loft
  • Store Size: 3,306 sqm (35,585 square feet)

About this author
Cite: Lidija Grozdanic for "Interior Design and 3D Printing: Giving Unique Forms to Functional Spaces" 22 Mar 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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