Home / 17 Jan 2020

Brand | Reimaging Materials: Studio ilio

Established in 2015, Studio Ilio is a London based product design and material research agency, fostering material innovation and experimental fabrication. They believe that design and ecology should be a combined practice and that an accentuation on materiality enables us to redeļ¬ne our build environment.

The studio is passionate about seeking alternative functions and aesthetics in order to challenge existing manufacturing processes and material uses. The innovative products and hands-on experiments explore the boundaries between crafts and industry ranging from furniture to sculptural objects and installations.

Studio ilio is a collaboration between Swiss designer Fabio Hendry and South Korean designer Seongil Choi.The name ilio was created while they were working on the first collection of stools during college. So "il" is from Seong"il", and "io" comes from Fab"io".Through experimentation and investigation in their studio, their work has challenged conventional manufacturing processes and material uses.

Studio ilio is passionate about seeking alternative environments in order to challenge and alter existing manufacturing processes and material uses. They believe that originality in function and aesthetic derives from a unique process. Their innovative products and hands-on experiments explore the boundaries between crafts and industry ranging from furniture to sculptural objects and installations.

Among Studio Ilio's prominent works are Hot Wire Extensions (seen above) and The Soft side of Steel. These two projects consist of a growing collection of objects that serve as furniture, sculpture or installations. More importantly, they each represent innovative, new ways of casting and formatting materials like steel, wire, waste nylon powder and more.


Hot Wire Extensions started over as an investigation in the "model of nature" with its forms and structures. The growing nature is based on the organisation of complex principles, outer and inner influences to chemical and physical processes. By adapting one of the properties of this growth, the heat, our project uses this as a resource to grow our own, controlled nature. By combining and merging our growth with existing forms and materials, this process not only re-interprets current ways of additive manufacturing, but displays new aesthetics and potentials in production.

The process exists out of a heat source, the nichrome wire, and a composite of nylon powder and sand. The nylon powder is a waste product collected from SLS 3D printing companies, where it is used for building several times and then thrown away. The sand act as a filler material as well as a heat conductor by distributing the heat around the wire. The nylon powder melts and bonds during the curing process turns the mixture in to a solid body.


The 'The Soft Side of Steel' is a research into fabrication processes and a study of material properties. The project transforms an existing material, steel fibres into flexible sheets, which are explored within the traditional fields of textiles and metalwork. The process started from a unconventional and immediate engagement with materials and tools, cumulating in a refined process involving and partnering up with diverse parties within the industry of manufacturing and production.

The project explores alternative processes of making and challenges existing manufacturers in the industry to work in an unconventional way, combining industries in order to innovate. Through this project we explore the question, what if welders would become tailors and instead of producing industrial goods manufacture domestic products.

The two series of works are much more than static outcomes, rather, what Studio Ilio has generated with them, is a new language for familiar materials, some of which are rapidly accumulating as wastes from modern manufacturing processes.