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Take a seat to see the faces of San Francisco
To create the vast moving mural The Chronicles of San Francisco at SFMoMA, the internationally-recognized artist JR had spent two months in 2018 filming and interviewing over 1,200 people from across the city’s unique communities. Where did we come in? The team at SFMoMA approached us to build a furniture element to interact with the exhibit, allowing visitors to listen to and immerse themselves in the diversity of residents represented in the art. Beginning with their concept sketch, we designed two large pieces to work with the space, and also house several tablets and speakers. The tablet interfaces needed to be low profile and at an angle (to avoid visitors resting on the face); and the pieces needed to bend within the room. Working with compound angles was an exercise in design engineering, fine woodworking, and tech integration, all for a high-traffic environment.
While the angles were a challenge, the pieces were also deceptively large (appx. 60 ft). We needed to ensure all angles were treated consistently, working with tight, precision tolerances. Using 3D-modeling to create a handcrafted look in solid wood, we executed digitally with CNC in an assembly-line approach, creating efficiencies in fabrication. We used precision-milled solid maple and quality veneers; for parts that couldn't be realized digitally, we leveraged woodworking for hands-on customization.