Raw Edges suspends "volumetric spheres" at IMM Cologne


Design studio Raw Edges has created Sense of Surface, a 3D-printed installation exploring the interplay between light and textured surfaces that was shown at trade show IMM Cologne.

Sense of Surface consisted of a semi-transparent printed curtain and four 3D-printed “volumetric spheres” that were design to appeared as if they were floating freely in the space.

“The installation is a captivating exploration of the interplay between light and textured surfaces, created specifically for IMM Cologne 2024,” said Raw Edges.

Volumetric surface as part of Sense of Surface
Raw Edges created the Sense of Surface installation at IMM Cologne

The installation’s 3D structures, which were hung from above, were constructed using a Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printer that fused together layers of polymer power.

Once printed, the pieces were joined into three-dimensional volumetric shapes on-site “almost like a tailor’s work”, according to Raw Edges co-founder Shay Alkalay.

The installation responded to IMM Cologne’s 2024 theme The Sensuality of Surfaces and examined how a flat surface can be transformed into a “complex and three-dimensional body”.

Volumetric object as part of Sense of Surface installation
The installation examined how a surface can be transformed into a “complex and three-dimensional body”

“For a long time we have been fascinated by the relationship between 2D graphic patterns and three-dimensional forms,” Alkalay told Dezeen.

“It can be seen in our wood-dyed Endgrain collection, where we turn flat graphic surfaces into three-dimensional objects and enjoy the distortions and how they affect each other.”

Lighting levels were manipulated throughout the space, altering the 3D structures’ appearance.

“We started to play with the idea of see-through surfaces, patterned structures and transparency and to see how light can interact with it,” Raw Edges told Dezeen.

“We were interested in exploring how three-dimensional structures can feel transparent in a space when there is no light, but become more diffused and opaque when illuminated. “

Volumetric object as part of Sense of Surface installation
Four 3D-printed “volumetric spheres” appeared to float

Alongside the sculptural forms, a curtain was made from Apollo – a semi-transparent textile created from German textile brand Rökona.

The pattern was 3D printed onto the fabric using pigment ink developed by printing brand Kornit.

“The result is a see-through printed surface that beckons visitors to step into the installation, creating an immersive and interactive experience,” said Raw-Edges.

Curtain as part of the Sense of Surface installation featuring black and green patterns
The installation also included a semi-transparent, printed curtain

Raw Edges designed Sense of Surface in a bid to create an area of tranquillity for visitors to enjoy while experiencing the trade show.

“It is an immersive installation that was there to let visitors take a break from the busy fair and to step into a different environment that allows you quietly to focus on the way light can interact with the surfaces,” said Raw Edges.

Close up image of someone constructing the volumetric installation
The installation’s 3D structures were constructed using a Selective Laser Sintering printer

Raw Edges was launched in 2007 by Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay to transform everyday objects into playful and inventive furniture, product, interior and installation designs.

IMM Cologne took place from 14 to 18 January 2024. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.



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