by Anmol AhujaJun 18, 2021
3D printed out of quartz sand, PRIMITIVES  is a family of six nightstands designed by Turkish designer Levent Ozruh, a powerful hybrid of sculpture and furniture. Each ash grey table has a distinct base design and is manufactured in collaboration with Sandhelden in Germany. PRIMITIVES  are “a frozen instant of the negotiation between the visual and functional agenda,” says Ozruh. Rare and refined, organic yet composed, the series explores the possibilities of quartz sand as a material for furniture design, experimenting and taking interesting forms via 3D printing technologies.
“The morphology of each object is intended to lead to a re-evaluation of what makes an object primitive – the generated aesthetics, the tools of creation, or the society it is produced for,” says Ozruh, who is trained as an architectural designer in the United Kingdom, educated at the University of Edinburgh and UCL’s Bartlett School of Architecture. "The pieces aim to blur the everyday notions we associate with certain objects and their conceived aesthetics with 'primitiveness'," he continues.
Ozruh also shares that the design focuses on establishing a set of shared qualities among the pieces that diverge from the same algorithmic DNA. While each of them has a unique form and morphology, the design intent is to find the equilibrium between the formal differences and similarities between them, so that one can associate them as a family of designs rather than unrelated individuals.
The language of the product design exhibits an archaic, raw aesthetic, opposed to its process of creation, which is described as contemporary and computational. This apparent difference leads to a gap between the object’s appearance and the “codified recipes” that are written as a series of algorithmic procedures by the designer that creates it. “The role of the designer is akin to a chef who also experiences a similar gap. Following the creation of a recipe, there is a delay before the tasting, after which there is a cyclical, iterative process that calibrates the methods of production; action and reaction are not real-time. In the PRIMITIVES series, the act of calibration dominates the design intent,” Ozruh explains.
After printing each piece, the loose sand is cleaned thoroughly, while post-processing helps to enhance its strength and durability. It is sanded further to create a smoother, usable surface top and the final touch is added by coating the nightstands in a matte, light grey. The swirls and random indentations in the nightstands are enhanced by their monochrome colour and the textured finish of the quartz. As light changes course daily, PRIMITIVES exhibit varying appearances, vis a vis a play of light and shadow, the iterations emphasising the transience of time.
The six nightstands are related but not identical, owing to the “additive manufacturing process” and algorithms that created them. These entities also exhibit the control of complexity and simplicity exercised by Ozruh, with each piece (weighing 40-60 kg, depending on the design) retaining its own integrity and identity. Two of the six PRIMITIVES  have already been produced, while four remain in manufacture.
The manufacturing process was chosen for its sustainable nature to minimise resource use: “In terms of energy, 3D printing with sand does not require high melting temperatures, and to improve raw material efficiency the sand can be reused and recycled up to eight times in the production,” says Ozruh.
Currently, Ozruh is based in London and is a Teaching Fellow at the Bartlett, co-leading a postgraduate design studio that focuses on the intersection of Bio-Spatial Design and Artificial Intelligence. Levent’s work and ideas oscillate between small scale fabrication to speculative digital imagery of architecture. “What unites them is an exploration for contemporariness in primitive and vernacular conditions of architecture, ranging from asteroid settlements to salt villages in Ethiopia,” he concludes.