March 21, 2012  |  Artists, Behind the Scenes
Architect Collaborations at the MoMA Design Store: John Bennett and Gustavo Bonevardi

Architect's Cubes. John Bennett and Gustavo Bonevardi. 2010

The final post in our series on architect collaborations focuses on a duo familiar with inter-disciplinary work, but new to commercial product design.

Architect’s Cubes. John Bennett and Gustavo Bonevardi. 2010

The Architect’s Cubes by John Bennett and Gustavo Bonevardi (of “Tribute in Light” renown) are an invitingly tactile desktop accessory that encourages creative exploration of shapes, structures, and textures –3-D doodling, if you will. The simple shape of the cubes belies a complex manufacturing process involving eight different factories–one for each of the materials represented in the set: maple wood, Bakelite (an early form of plastic), cork, granite, EVA (a type of plastic), silicone, acrylic, and aluminum.

These materials frequently appear in an architect’s repertoire and were selected to provide a complementary range of textures and densities. Their diversity required a scrupulous production method to ensure true, geometric proportions with pure, plumb lines.

If you get your hands on a set, notice how the acrylic cube interacts with light or how the industrial sheen of aluminum sets off the shimmering quartz naturally occurring in granite. Stack cubes in different configurations and see if there’s a color or textural combination you find particularly compelling. Engaging with the cubes provides insight into the meditations on materials and purpose that often arise when a building is conceived.