Furniture made of reinforced concrete in Uruguay features minimalist design and vandal-resistant properties

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It was from a creative blend of concrete and the time of rest that Uruguayan Sofía Orellano thought of Mento, a set of minimalist urban furniture made of reinforced concrete in Uruguay. Sofia was finalizing its work completion of the industrial design course. To study the surroundings and city dwellers, in particular the city of Montevideo, the artist watched coexisted traditional and modern, that in his statement, were incongruous in the prepared infrastructure and user behavior. As an attempt to unite both in a harmonious way, designed ergonomic and at the same time resistant to human and environmental actions pieces that could be installed in parks, squares and other public spaces. The collection is composed of modular banks integrated database, tables, cachepôs and bins and all components have the idea of low interference in the environment, both as regards the design of parts, simple, and in relation to their production. As a result of urban and technical studies, it was decided that the material should be resistant concomitantly be present in the region and be antigrafitável. Polymer concrete have changed so that they reach a waterproof property for application of external coatings, for oil and water. To keep the sustainability standard, determined to be the color of the application only in the concrete mix. According Sofía is a list of at least 15 colors available that ensures idealizing remain over the years.

Depending on where they are installed, the production of parts is held in place. Currently, there are prefabricated providers that have the Mento molds, triggered depending on the scale installation. According to the creator, this is another way to meet sustainability standards seal the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). In addition to production, the application of these concepts can also be seen in the shuttle assembly, handling of parts in its simple manufacturing process and long life guarantee, which dispenses annual maintenance and spare parts. According Sofia, this leads to a significant reduction of carbon dioxide emission. ERGONOMICS Ergonomics assembly included anthropometric data of a current population of both sexes and age groups. Then, samples were set to benefit postures of rest and relaxation and interaction with people with physical disabilities. First we established a theoretical model and soon performed multiple practical tests with users of different ages, sizes and needs. The own metal armor parts are oversized to be able to withstand even people jumping on the furniture.

The final project was the contribution of manufacturers and construction professionals to improve their income and their production and installation processes. The furniture had been developed since 2013 but could only really get off the ground when he won a design competition held by the Uruguayan Ministry of Education and Culture, and was only installed in 2015. The partnership also with the city and the recent support of the National Research and Innovation Agency (Anii) allowed producing the first units in the factory and install them in two Uruguayans points: the Plaza Sainz in the city of Durazno, and in high school Villa Cosmopolis, the capital. The next installation location of the pieces should be in Sinergia Tech a FabLab in Montevideo. It is at this stage to be presented the project bluetooth technology. “The connection to the user will be carried out intuitively and will be made by your smartphone,” says Sofía. Additional should bring information about the furniture and the room in which it is inserted, and generate data on the use of space and equipment and on the use and availability peaks, which will contribute to the improvement of spaces. Besides having plans to be installed on Pablo Atchugarry Foundation in Punta del Este, Sofía is looking for manufacturing licenses for Mento in different cities of Latin America. At the moment, the main objectives are Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

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