Based on a smaller design he created a few years ago, Mathias Bengtsson's gigantic Spun bench is now on display at an art gallery in Washington DC. But how can this giant installation only weigh just eleven pounds? It's made from that uber-material known as carbon fiber.
Normally, carbon fiber is woven into large panels which are used to build high-performance, but lightweight, super cars and fighter planes. But in this case, an industrial fabrication technique is used where carbon thread is spun into a 3D form. After it's cured in a kiln, the resulting carbon fiber tube is still incredibly strong, but it uses far less material so it ends up being cheaper and lighter. In fact, the entire structure weighs about the same as four phonebooks, but even as an art piece is infinitely more useful. [Industry Gallery DC via FastCo Design]