Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes: Vive Menu

By the time I got the call, the Vive menu project was well underway. Phil, Design Director at Lightform, and Arnaud, Owner of Vive la tarte, already had an idea of what they wanted the menu to look like, how they wanted it to work, and an appreciation for what it takes to build things. 

Since the conceptual design work was already done, our first objective l was to figure out the best way to build this thing given the constraints of this project. Ultimately, we settled on using steel ribs as a framework, and bending thin VG Fir strips over the ribs. 

Theoretically, the process was straightforward, but there were enough variables and material challenges that we opted to dive in with a 1:4 scale model and some full-scale tests. The prototyping focused on:

  • Identifying the ideal thickness of the wood slats
  • Ensuring the wood could handle the most intense bends
  • Strength testing various joinery options (since the wood slats were too long to be made from just one piece)
  • Testing how much the steel ribs could influence the wood’s curvature 

The prototyping and testing led to some minor design tweaks, but overall it validated the concept and provided the foundation to dive into fabrication. Here’s a look at both the prototyping and fabrication process. 

Jeff Goodwin