British designer Mark Laban ingeniously takes the concept of traditional craftsmanship and gives it a modern twist. His seating designs seem to show the marks of an artisanal tool, but these pieces of furniture are actually made using a CNC machine. Consequently, the furniture displays a fascinating play between handmade and automated digital processes; between man and machine. Organic and rustic as well as modern and intriguing, the benches provide a glimpse into the impressive range of design possibilities of the present and near future.

Mark Laban’s designs include simple oak and maple benches, with or without backrests. They boast deep, precise markings which, apart from bringing traditional processes to mind, also create a powerful contrast with the surface of the solid wood. One design, the Temple Bench, stands out among the rest as it features subtle curves and a smooth surface. We’re looking forward to seeing this technique used in other creative ways by designers, young and old. Photo credits: Mark Laban.