Tomek Rygalik shares Circula bench designed for social interaction


Circula is an experimental project of the Polish designer Tomek Rygalik developed within Design Nature, offering a user-friendly tool focused on sustainability. “Humans are social creatures,” says Rygalik. “Human beings are not meant to be a solitary species: we are social animals. Today everyone is talking about distancing – but there will come a time dedicated to recouping it all, both physically and relationshipally. Coming (slowly) out of a time when social interactions were prohibited, Circula encourages him in his circular form. The ringed bench acts as a functional space to begin the dialogue after such moments of isolation. The round shape is intentional for the way it gets people to sit down for conversation. It also represents the circularity of the design, as Circula is made from durable and durable materials, including responsibly managed FSC or PEFC certified wood, plastic made from 100% recycled packaging, and phosphated steel. . In this month’s Deconstruction, Tomek Rygalik provides an overview of the design process behind the creation of Circula.

The initial concept sketch showing the tool for unity in essence.

metal ring bench mockup in the grass

These are visuals of the first 1: 1 model test scale, seat proximity and ergonomics.

metal ring bench in the grass

metal ring bench in the shop

circular bench design drawing

Reverse design of timber construction and assembly.

circular bench design drawing

wooded mountain setting with trees and hollowed out stump

Obtain wood, a naturally renewable resource, from suppliers practicing responsible forest management and therefore FSC® or PEFC TM certified.

wood shop decor with tight current design

In the workshop, construction of molds for folding-rolling.

laminated wood ring during the test phase

We test the bending of different diameters and sections of wood while optimizing bending techniques to the desired diameter of around 200 cm.

CNC milling of wood parts

Preliminary CNC milling of parts.

two men in motion wooden bench section

Turn the pieces to the other side for milling.

Close up of wooden component of bench

Work on the development of the interlocking connection system.

curved wooden components joining together during construction

Tight fit of the parts in the shape of a continuous circle.

fitting curved wooden components together in the shop

two men working on circular wooden design in shop

curved wood bench section

Wood sanding, component assembly test and final touch-ups.

three people sitting together on a circular wooden bench in front of the windows

Test the construction and stability of Circula in use with a research group.

painted components of a wooden bench

Protect surfaces with naturally pigmented oil.

circular wooden bench painted red

The final assembly.

finished design of a recycled plastic circular bench with a designer in the center

Photo: Agnieszka Kula

Circula has been produced in three versions, including this one in recycled plastic.

Close up of recycled plastic bench

Close-up of the recycled plastic version of Circula Photo: Agnieszka Kula

portrait of designer Tomek Rygalik

Designer Tomek Rygalik Photos: Monika Olszewska

Caroline Williamson is the editorial director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in Photography from SCAD and can usually be found researching vintage articles, doing New York Times crosswords in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.

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