Henry Mabin The Forbidden Symphony

  • Tauira / Student
    Henry Mabin


This vinyl holder investigates how architecture can be represented as furniture through scalar exploration. It is an experimentation process driven by maritime and parametric aesthetics, producing a unique design that fuses the realms of architecture and furnishing. Details were derived, in combination, from ‘the machine’, precedent tension systems and speculative architecture.

Studies on Dutch painter Constant Nieuwenhuys rendition of New Babylon were conducted, analysing how a singular mast, or multiple masts, interact with secondary supports to create asymmetry. These speculative paintings provided the foundations for interpretation. A constant dialogue between architecture and furniture, with joint details being the chosen medium of exploration.

The opportunity to create this piece of furniture stemmed from an individual brief in an Advanced Furniture course. The proposal was based on the investigations of details from similar design disciplines such as architecture, aviation/nautical design, and structural engineering. Analysis was conducted through physical and CAD modelling to explore how details from these areas of design could be produced at a furniture scale. In the beginning, a final prototype was not the intended outcome of these experimentations, rather a set of detailed joints to scale. Yet, as the project developed, the opportunity to produce a piece of furniture that combined these explorations became realistic.

The function as a vinyl holder came from the designer's love for music and the opportunity to present records in a bespoke fashion. The poetic sense of music ties into the flowing parametric fins that each record sits within.