connor holland mimics plastic inflatables in hydroformed steel bench connor holland mimics plastic inflatables in hydroformed steel bench
oct 28, 2015

connor holland mimics plastic inflatables in hydroformed steel bench

connor holland mimics plastic inflatables in hydroformed steel bench
all images courtesy of connor holland




influenced by homemade hydroforming videos found on the internet, connor holland decided to use this technique for his final major project at kingston university. the process uses a pressure washer to inject water into a sheet metal profile, inflating it like a balloon. the designer experimented with different shapes, trying to successfully transform two-dimensional objects into three-dimensional products. after realizing that his tests with basic shapes did not result in functional goods, holland thought about mimicking plastic inflatables by creating a new piece based on an air mattress.


video courtesy of connor holland




the result was the ‘lilo bench’, a seating object that resembles a plastic floating mattress but is made of steel, giving it a distinctive structure that is both strong and comfortable. to emphasize on strength being the main characteristic, concrete and steel supports were added as the legs providing a solid foundation, while creating the illusion of a floating bench. as for the finishing details, every weld was smoothed down before being powder-coated with a bright and glossy finish simulating the appearance of the plastic inflatable. this resemblance often surprises the users when they discover that it is actually metal.

connor holland
the steel rod and cast concrete supports are influenced by the structures used in bridge engineering

connor holland

the inflation process transforms the 1mm thick sheets into a super-strong structure

connor holland
the hydroformed steel seat connects to the supports with eight button screws

connor holland
polyurethane gliders screw into the underside of the concrete bases, protecting floor surfaces

connor holland
the lilo bench is ideal for semi-public spaces like galleries and museums 

connor holland
a pressure washer pumps water between the sheets, forcing the metal apart and forming the three distinctive parts



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: juliana neira | designboom

  • kensington university? Connor graduated from Product and Furniture Design BA (Hons) at Kingston University.

    rodrigo says:
  • looks awfully familiar…. exactly Like the FIDU Technique by Oskar Zieta, who seems to be not even mentioned in the post, although he is volume producing furniture with the very same technique for years now.

    Daniel says:

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