With the vast amount of today’s objects taking on a variety of complex forms that are capable of being produced through modern manufacturing processes – such as those created through generative modeling techniques – it’s easy to lose touch with how we even got to this level of design and manufacturing.
Among others is knapping – the prehistoric craft of tool-making through controlled breaking. The process was (and depending on who you ask, still is) common in creating everything from arrowheads to more functional hand tools out of flint or obsidian glass.
For industrial designers Ami Drach (1963-2012) and Dov Ganchrow of Studio Amidov, staying connected to the earliest tools and manufacturing technologies meant actually exploring the process of creating these tools themselves – and the result of their exploration is a product concept called ‘Ideal Cobble’.
Conceived of as a “mail-order from nature” concept that eliminates the “labor-intensive quarrying and travel of quality stones over hundreds of kilometers”, the Ideal Cobble preforms come in a variety of ergonomic sizes, shapes and orientations that are made with a cohesive shade of cast red glass – suggesting that even prehistoric tools can have some sort of branding component that’s on-par with more modern brands including Dewalt or Black and Decker.
Although the preforms are made from glass, they have been optimized for the knapping process and allow for tool creation with the least amount of effort and loss of material to create a predictable tool shape.
“The notion of a designed resource is something we almost take for granted in our daily lives; vegetables, landscapes, bee-hives, dogs have all been altered as the performs to accommodate usability,” says the studio.
“We initially used what nature gave us for what we wanted or needed, and later, engineered it to give us what we want or need.”