Whorl Console by Neal Aronowitz


The Whorl Console, designed and fabricated by Neal Aronowitz, was the winner of the 2017 Gray Award for Product Design in the Furniture/Lighting category. Among the judges were Philippe Starck, Karim Rashid, and Ingo Maurer. The unique design and specialized casting techniques developed by Aronowitz to fabricate the table were acknowledged by the judges, including Maurer who announced the winning design, noting “It’s an incredible achievement- the studies he undertook, his enthusiasm for the material, his persistence in following his vision, and, of course, the shape. It’s a very nice product. I would like to have one.”The innovative console table is made of Concrete Canvas, a patented concrete-impregnated fabric not commonly used in furniture design. A ground-breaking new material, Concrete Canvas allows concrete to be used in radically innovative ways. It is a flexible concrete-impregnated fabric that hardens on hydration to form a thin, durable, water-proof, and fire-resistant concrete layer. Essentially it is concrete cloth on a roll. The idea behind the Whorl series was to make a hand-crafted piece that has presence as both sculpture and functional furniture. Aronowitz saw an opportunity as he says to “explore the material’s unique structural properties to express a fluid form, in contrast to the dense and heavy associations that we have with concrete.” The challenge in the design and construction of this series was to stretch the tensile strength of the material to its limits for aesthetic beauty and interest, seemingly defying gravity. At the same time, it needed to maintain its structural integrity as a utilitarian object intended for everyday use. New casting and forming techniques were developed to achieve the ribbon-like structure of the table. The surface consists of pigmented cement mortar lightly skim coated over the entire surface and sanded to a highly smooth and polished finish.
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