Seattle Design Festival 2012: “Radiator Lounge”

The Radiator Lounge is a street chaise made from recycled radiators. It was created for the “Design Jam” during the 2012 Seattle Design Festival and won the people’s choice prize.

The challenge was to create urban furniture from a kit of materials: a sheet of plywood, 4 2x4s, a drop-cloth, and one item from the Seattle used building supply store ReStore. This one wild card drove the design, and of course the team chose the heaviest and ugliest thing we could find. An old 26-piece radiator offered a consistent module and gave us the opportunity to sculpt its individual parts into a new form.

We used 3 hacksaws to disassemble the radiator fins, and then sliced one in half to measure and model its profile. We modeled the curve of a chaise lounge and then placed the radiator fin profiles perpendicular to it. Using a parametric Grasshopper definition, we adjusted the fin placement along the curve to allow for a plywood armature that could hold the fins in place. We used a CNC router to cut this armature, and placed the radiator fins within it. Critics have cited this piece as “arguably the most important reuse of cast iron radiator modules in the past couple of months!”

Radiator Lounge was featured in Inhabitat, Sept 25, 2012.

Team: Scott Crawford, Stephen Van Dyck, Mona Zellers, Jack Chaffin, Erick Katzenstein

Napkin sketch.

Modeling the contours of the chair in Grasshopper.

Fabricating the plywood armature with a CNC router at local startup Frankenstein, Inc.

Completed chair base.