Flow - Reception Desk

First impressions never counted for more and when young people take their first steps inside a school or college, a place where the beginnings of their future will be laid out ahead of them, an indelible sense of place is instilled in them. Lazerian understood this when embarking on a project with Clarendon Sixth Form College’s new building for creative courses, installing a welcome desk that would immediately contribute to the three-way relationship between students, the college and the broader sphere of artistic practice.


Flow is the result, a piece of functional, public-realm furniture that takes its inspiration from the purity of human expression. By drawing the line of movement of six dancers, Lazerian’s Liam Hopkins found a set of compact, visual data which could then be encased in a virtual solid skin. Effectively trapping the energy otherwise lost as dancers take their next steps, the 3D form left behind ebbed and flowed, but remained true to the performer’s rhythmic discipline and the physical limits of the human form.

These inherent traits not only met a conceptual requirement, to communicate the power of planned and purposeful creative performance, but also a physical need as Flow was developed as a tool for every day human use and interaction. By tracing human movement, ergonomic questions were immediately answered. Moving away from the sanctity of the initial concept, Lazerian considered hi-quality, time-sensitive and cost-effective manufacturing methods and moved away from skinning the entire form, instead looking at a lightweight, modular approach.

Forming the whole are slices of selected cherry-veneered birch plywood, a material of choice for the Lazerian studio and sympathetic to the interior fit out of the college’s new building, assembled on-site to become an undulating sculptural mass. Representing individual endeavour as a contribution to collective achievement, Flow’s use of 300 component parts also offers breathability and a permeable presence, which can be as inconspicuous as it is inspiring.

Images by Gu Photography

Video by Nicholas Wood