There’s a man who does all of his design work from the French Hotel Cafe in Berkeley, California. His name is Kenneth Smythe. His designs are loaded with symbloism, very high-end, completely open-source and created for a random sequencing production system. If I wanted to describe his work in a way that would make you grit and pinch your elbow tips, I’d say his designs are ones that sift the threaded cells, skin, words and musical notes floating through the universe, isolating them into the strum of single chord that could be mixed, reproduced, combined, extrapolated and re-mixed with any other design vibrating along the same thread. You’ve seen his asymmetric permutations of titanium and richlite. However, most recently he has shared the third iteration of a design he began conceptualizing in 1983, TIME’S MOMENTUM.


The chair frame of TIME’S MOMENTUM is made up of six sub-assemblies that can be easily taken apart-legs, arms, seat and back. The seat and back side rails are folded together with the seating in place. The seating panels are virtually the same for over 50 chairs with the location of the leather cutouts being the only difference. To make this chair a reality Kenneth says it will take a lot of money, a high powered twin beam rapid scanning laser welder and a very specialized computer-controlled layout jig so that all these designs can be produced in a random sequence. Prior to this, he made physical models of the provisional designs, designed for and built with readily available technologies and materials of the day, like plastic pipes and plywood.


Inspiration for TIME’S MOMENTUM. The PVC (POSITIVELY VIABLE CONCEPTION) chair, circa 1993, and the plywood TRANSFORMATIONIST III (Ediphice Rex) circa 1983, designed and made by Kenneth Smythe.

Through modeling and rendering, done in SolidWorks, Kenneth has been able to take these concepts through more exotic materials and technologies that can use the 3D data. The materials he uses in the new version are titanium nickel alloy for the frames, Monel for the gold pins and screws, and 6-oz. Latigo leather for the seating. The front view…


The back view…


And, side view, where it nearly disappears…


“TIME’S MOMENTUM I & II chairs, plus others, are viewed by me as the distillation of the evolution of civilization through the development of the cultural artifact (Abstract Functional Sculpture/Iconic Genuflectatum), called a chair, as an important symbolic representative of the movement towards a New World Order. I hold the view that extreme hierarchy has peaked or is about to and that a gradual collapse to a decentralized cultural order with a greatly reduced world population lies in our future.”

Note: The titles and sub-titles in the schematics you see below are condensed poetic narratives of his thinking.











Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.