16 Mar MAKING OF OP & MERIDIO
See how Op stool and Meridio table for Hiro have come to life
In this article we will talk about the making of Op and Meridio (stool and table), designed for the Italian company Hiro.
It is a design that started from a very precise brief by Hiro that needs to be contextualized for a moment.
Hiro produces metal household items, mainly small and medium-sized, sold online. In addition to having to deal with transport needs, there was a structural challenge (starting with the stool) that had to be solved.
The stool was designed with the aid of a single tube and a metal surface for the seat. As a proponent of shapes, the challenge was fascinating, but it wasn’t just a design quirk, it was a real need.
Those who read this blog are usually informed of the facts, but I make a premise to understand even better why a company asks to create such a minimal object.
We have been used for years to buy very cheap items, starting from fashion up to tech. What not everyone pays attention to is the origin of these products, usually from countries whose labor and raw material costs are drastically lower, sometimes simply because the cost of living is lower, sometimes because people don’t act ethically. (but it is a very long conversation). Hiro faces a market filled with these products, but with a production entirely made in Italy, with its rules, its costs, but with undoubted quality.
To compete well with the right price, but without sacrificing the quality of the processes, this company relies on the ingenuity of designers to find aesthetically satisfying solutions that are able to keep costs competitive, without sacrificing quality, but streamlining the processes of production.
With this in mind, asking for the design of a stool in just two pieces is legitimate and stimulating.
We worked on three different proposals based on many sketches I did. The winner is the one that gave life to the stool currently available in their shop.
The selected proposal did not actually follow the brief exactly to the letter. Earlier I specified that the seat had to be a metal surface, but this did not totally convince me, both for a fact of resistance and visual, it would have been a bit thin. So I proposed the use of a turned metal sheet. I knew that the company had a mold available and I took the opportunity to ask to use it to make this session, a choice that proved to be winning.
The tubular structure has a characteristic handle that helps to transport the stool and gives it a distinctive visual mark.
The sled legs were born from the need to create the structure with a single tube and they were the most problematic part. The initial design wanted these to go straight to the ground, but due to the radius of curvature, Op fell forward. This was solved by changing the angle of curvature. This, even if born from the resolution of a problem, gave even more character to the object.
Having fixed this, we proceeded to create Meridio, a matching table, simple enough to be able to live even in environments that do not include the presence of stools.
Here too, in order to move towards a competitive product, we tried to remain very dry in the parts list, making it as simple as possible.
Eventually it was resolved very quickly. Having already worked on the stool, many knots had already come to a head. We therefore opted for a base and a support surface held together by a threaded tube.
Later, to make everything more flexible, a system was added to close the table designed by Hiro’s technical office.