Archive for the 'Furniture' Category

Co.Design: Plywood Revolution

In her article, “How Plywood Revolutionized Design And Changed The World (No, Really!)”, Co.Design senior editor Suzanne Labarre reflects on a mid-20th century “modern” material after her visit to Plywood: Material, Process, Form, an ongoing exhibit at New York MoMA:

That plain little sandwich of lumber and glue–with its origins in ancient Egypt and its reinvention under the auspices of 20th-century military research–gave designers from Alvar Aalto to Charles and Ray Eames the raw material with which to shape some of the most iconic furniture of the past 100 years.

Those products represent a time when designers were experimenting and innovating with materials. The role plywood has played in the history of product design is significant and underscored by how expensive Eames and Aalto’s furniture are today. Labarre notes the irony that while they might have been developed the common man in mind, few of us can afford them.

Sheet-metal Chassis Chair

As any industrial designer will attest, drafting an idea is relatively easy. Getting it made is the hard part. Prototypes often languish for years waiting for a manufacturer; and once one is found, it can take equally long to work out the production kinks. Just ask the German designer Stefan Diez, whose Chassis chair, made with space-frame technology commonly used in building car bodies, was unveiled to media swoons back in 2008 but didn’t actually see the light of day until late last year. Although Wilkhahn had committed to financing the project, finding a properly equipped factory willing to fabricate the parts proved a major setback:

If you come as a designer and want to make a chair using this kind of technology, you don’t find an entrance to the club—they have no interest in making chairs.

Chassis is lightweight (about 12 pounds) and flexible with a delicate-looking frame of thin sheet metal and a removable polypropylene seat. An advantage of the sheet metal is that you can apply many kinds of coatings: you can have it galvanized, chromed, or whatever. A laser cuts sections out of the seat back and the metal scraps are then used to make the legs, which are spot-welded to the frame. According to Deiz, he idea was to make a chair with flexible characteristics, like a bicycle. A rigid structure wouldn’t resist the forces applied to it; it would break. So the idea of using flexible materials, like sheet metal, for a chair is quite clever.

[via Metropolis]

Production of Arne Jacobsen’s Series 7 Chair

See if you can resist the urge to drift off to sleep… it will be worth it if you can. In this video produced by The Republic of Fritz Hansen, you’ll enjoy watching Arne Jacobsen’s Series 7 chair being lovingly constructed out of laminates of ash, beech or maple (it’s hard to tell exactly because the video’s in black and white, but my guess is ash).

[via Core77]

Emiliano Godoy’s “Snowjob” Chair Discussion


In a post on Core77 about Emiliano Godoy’s “Snowjob” chair, the poster posits some questions regarding the nature of the materials used. The chair is skinned in candy wrappers. (Not used ones, but misprints and obsolete ones.) The questions focus on the candy wrappers themselves and the fact that they have recycled symbols on them, even though they aren’t actually recycled. Emiliano was kind enough to respond and it makes for an interesting read about the nature of this material and the logistics behind how the wrapper’s manufacture affects its recyclability and what it means to be ‘disposable.’

I think we have to stop greenwashing, stop deceiving consumers, and tax the hell out of disposable products. There is no such thing as [throwing] away, just out of sight.

[via Core77]

Amazing 3D Printed Full-Sized Furniture Pieces

Belgium-based online 3D printing service bureau i.materialise reviews some of the amazing full-scale 3D printed furniture pieces they’ve produced like the Root Chair by Sulan Kolatan and William MacDonald (pictured above).

[more at i.materialise]

‘Endless’ Chair by Dirk van der Kooij

‘Endless’ is a chair constructed by a robot extruding one contiguous ribbon of plastic recycled from old refrigerators. Dutch designer and recent Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Dirk van der Kooij presented his take on tool-less plastic chair construction at his graduation show as part of Dutch Design Week.

The robot is even recycled: After a 140,000 hour non-stop career in a Chinese production line, van der Kooij installed new software and turned it into a large-scale prototyping machine. While it has a lower resolution that what you might see in a true rapid prototyping system, this slower process allows him to produce robust models at a steady pace. The coarse structure reveals how the product has been constructed layer by layer. Endless combines the flexibility of traditional workmanship with the speed of industrial production.

You can watch the video of the process and watch as he lovingly introduces different colors of pellets to play with the striations–creating each chair as a unique work of functional art.

One plastic string, made out of old refrigerators, crafted by a robot, into a chair.

[via domus, DesignRulz and Ponoko]

Herman Miller: Live Unframed

Boy, I wish more companies would be so transparent… Through Live Unframed, Herman Miller and Yves Behar share their design process behind their new SAYL chair. This rich website includes video explanations of their design process with lots of pics of prototypes and material experimentation… even snaps from Yves Behar’s sketchbook. You almost expect to have security escort you out of the building for snooping.

The site is going live in three stages, and though only the first stage is currently live, it’s well worth a look. Check it out, and revisit on November 8th and 15th as they will be uploading even more stuff.

[via Core77]