Jenny Lee

The Soft Side of Steel

Jenny Lee
The Soft Side of Steel

Studio ilio is a London based design studio formed by RCA graduates Seongil Choi and Fabio Hendry. The studio seeks to alter existing manufacturing processes to challenge the possibilities of manufacture and material application. Through this process they have created their own unique methods of manufacture from Hot Wire Extensions, which utilizes a nichrome wire to heat and bond nylon powder composite, to their most recent collection ‘The Soft Side of Steel’, an investigative project that is driven from a ‘blacksmiths perspective with a tailor’s ideology’.

The studio sought to question ‘what if welders became tailors and instead of producing industrial goods, manufactured domestic products? Through research into fabrication processes and a study of the material property of steel, they were intrigued by the seemingly contradictory nature of steel. A malleable yet tough material mainly used for industrial applications but can come in many forms from steel fibres to steel sheets.

The duo combined different manufacturing processes within the steel and textile industry, from traditional felting to transform the steel fibres into a soft flexible textile to applying welding techniques, which hardens the material to create structure and form.

By taking on such a unique, experimental approach they have not only contributed to the development of new welding techniques, which Sciaky, a leading manufacture in the automobile industry are keen to continue to develop. But there is also potential for the material to be used for its acoustic properties. The duo are looking for future collaborators to further examine the potential applications of this hybrid material. To see behind the scenes footage of the processes undertaken to reveal the softer side of steel, click here. 

Collaborators: Sciaky Electric Welding Machines Ltd. Slough, UK & The Woolly Shepherd Ltd. Taunton, UK

Image Credit: Paul Plews

www.studio-ilio.com