A plywood stool with some bounce!

Exploiting plywood’s ability to be flexible but hold its shape rather well, designers from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen created the Mågen stool, a stool that takes inspiration from Sori Yanagi’s Butterfly Stool, but adds some bounce to it! Comprised of six individual molded plywood pieces, the Mågen stool allows you to sit on it, and the two upper plywood layers flex under your weight, giving you the feeling of sitting on a cushion. The flexible layers not only make the Mågen a stool that’s comfortable to sit on, they also create an element of interaction that will surely have you bouncing up and down with a feeling that’s 80% delight and 20% curiosity!

Designers: Pernille Løgstrup Iversen, Rikke Palmerston & Fatima Fransson.

Layer Design and Airbus bring the ‘class’ back to economy class

The bane of air-travel, aside from noisy children and overpriced peanuts of course, is the fact that you’re stuck in an uncomfortable chair with practically no cushioning and hardly any leg-room. The economy class of an airplane is designed to be just that… economical. It sacrifices comfort, the need of personal space, and probably even its share of functionality just to make sure it can host as many passengers on the plane. We justify this mild discomfort because “it’s only for a few hours, right?”

In collaboration with Airbus, Benjamin Hubert of LAYER Design has developed what may just be the future of the economy class. An 18-month long project, Hubert’s transformed the very idea of the economy class without compromising on the quantitative nature of economical travel. Introducing smart fabrics that fit futuristic possibilities into a single sheet of cloth, and a thin, strong frame that holds everything together (along with a pretty remarkable tray system), Hubert and Airbus’s design, titled ‘Move’, allows seating to remain thin yet comfortable, and even makes accommodations for entertainment, storage, and even the so-far-unsolvable problem of legroom. The result is seating that occupies less space, but doesn’t let that be perceived as a con. It makes up for everything with top-notch design, engineering, and technology, allowing the economical class to feel classy.

THE SEAT – MATERIAL

The Move employs a smart textile seat cover (polyester wool blend – for heat regulation, robustness, and tactility – with integrated conductive yarn) that’s mounted on a robust aircraft grade aluminium and carbon fibre frame. “The knitted seat cover has zones of various density knit that offer different levels of support to the body. Throughout the journey, the Move seat automatically adjusts based on passenger weight, size, and movement to maintain optimal ergonomic comfort”, says Hubert. “This is made possible by passing current through the conductive yarn to vary the seat tension. The passenger can make additional adjustments to the seat based on personal preference using the Move app. The Move app can also be used to engage different seat modes, such as ‘massage’, ‘mealtime’, or ‘sleep’.”

THE SEAT – COMFORT

With a set fabric that can change density, flexibility, and even temperature, the Move doesn’t need to worry about integrating foam panels for cushioning, and even ditches the reclining mechanism. The reclining mechanism helps chairs feel more relaxing by changing one’s posture. However, a posture change also results in the eternal legroom problem. “The position of the seat is fixed – which addresses the issue of ‘legroom rage’ caused by passengers unnecessarily reclining on shorter flights”- instead, the chair’s fabric possesses the ability to learn from your posture, build, and body temperature, helping you sit in a way that feels comfortable to you. This could mean heating the chair up or cooling it down… or even tightening the fabric near the kidneys for greater lumbar support, or relaxing the overall textile for a more hammock-like feel.

THE TRAY TABLE + STORAGE

The Move also integrates a display and tray unit on the back of each seat. The display unit delivers key information, and even comes with an optional In Flight Entertainment module that can fit in its place. The tray unit combines functionalities too, serving as an emergency exit map when closed, and a fully height-adjustable tray when opened out. Right under it is a pocket to store your belongings, and the Move even comes with a sleeve to store laptops and tablets underneath the seats (between individual chairs). The laptop sleeves come made with a pressure sensitive yarn too, reminding you to collect your belongings while deboarding the plane.

DESIGN DETAILS

Move’s design is quite a departure from the usual defensive design of economical class seating which sort of acts as a psychological reminder that the Business Class is better and more desirable. Hubert uses a beautiful gradiented fabric to make the plane’s interiors more eye-catching, feeling more like a theater and less like the waiting room at an ER. Height adjustable armrests let you go from compartmentalized to bench-style seating, and the headrests even curve inwards, providing a great pillow to rest your head against, while also allowing you to get that private, cocooned feeling. My favorite detail is the fact that they even come with the seat number embroidered/printed directly on the headrest so you’ll never find yourself struggling to locate your seat by constantly holding up your boarding pass to double check for your spot! And it does all this without altering or tinkering with the orientation or the layout of seats, but rather just upgrading the seat as a singular unit.

Designers: Benjamin Hubert (LAYER) & Airbus.

The Superglue chair revisits how chairs should be perceived

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One seat, two armrests, one backrest, four legs. These elements come together to make a chair, and whether you perceive them together or individually, there’s a fairly large chance you’ll know you’re looking at a chair/seating-device.

That isn’t quite the case with the Superglue chair by Dmitry Kozinenko. Comprised of 3 sheet metal parts joined together by flat rivets, you’d never guess that they would come together to form a chair. Even when they do come together, it’s difficult to isolate which part plays what role, only because the chair’s unique design allows it to function as a chair without visually conforming to the standards of chair-design. The Superglue chair does have a seat and backrest, which are quite suitably comfortable, thanks to their concave design. In fact, you’ve even got two armrests on either side of the seating area. The chair’s backrest is fortified by the two steel sheets riveted together, and the chair stays extremely stable, thanks to the third sheet steel member that doesn’t come shaped in the form of 4 legs, but rather provides, in its own unique way, a total of six contact points (three edges) between the chair and the floor.

Designer: Dmitry Kozinenko

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Parametrically designed ‘Generico Chair’ takes on your weight with half the volume

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Designed using generative algorithms, the Generico Chair by Marco Hemmerling and Ulrich Nether fall under the domain of computational or parametric design, i.e., the use of computational algorithms in the design process. The generative design process allows the software to add its expertise by achieving a design that fulfills certain parameters. In this case, the chair retains its strength and also comes with a flexible backrest, but with a volume that’s drastically cut down, and that uses less material, thanks to its voronoi-esque design.

The Generico Chair not only cuts down on volume, but it also maintains a certain level of ergonomic design so the chair is comfortable to sit on. The chair is then 3D printed, given that the generative design comes with its share of manufacturing constraints. It, however, retains a beautiful, skeletal charm that’s brought about by the unique combination of creativity and the software-aided form design.

Designers: Marco Hemmerling and Ulrich Nether.

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Familiar Yet Fresh Seating

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Reminiscent of the Eames Eiffel-style base, Lazariev Design’s Star chair is a prefabricated seating solution distinguished by its steel rod sections and soft back and seat. The design is composed of four distinct sections that can be easily assembled by the user with simple bolts. The finished product produces a striking geometries complemented by vibrant colors. Sure to be a timeless classic, order them in solid hues or mix and match colors to suit your personal aesthetic.

Designer: Fydor Lazariev

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A Homegrown Chair

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(If by home you mean a lab, and if by grown you mean 3D-printed.) After the designers at Budmen Industries created their own 3D printer, dubbed the Budmen Builder, they decided to have a little fun. The result is a chair that balances form and function, fabrication and furniture. The result is Resolute.

Developed using CAD software, the Resolute chair is adapted for aesthetics yet sturdy enough to support a person weighing more than 250 lbs. Modern in composition yet organic in shape, the design is coated with structural resin for enhanced support and surface durability. This also gives it the stealthy black finish that adds to its liquid-like look.

Designer: Budmen Industries

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These 2D perspectives unfold to form 3D furniture

Remember all the time spent creating a perspective drawing and trying to get those angles right? Well, this 2D form turned furniture will take you back to those moments with pure nostalgia!

South Korean designer Jongha Choi has created a line of space-saving furniture that can be hung on your wall when not in use. The collection, named “De-Dimensions” plays with visual forms, transforming a two-dimensional form into a functional three-dimensional object. Comprising of a stool and a table, each element can be folded away when not in use, making it an ideal choice for the increasing micro homes we see in the future. The furniture uses of mechanical fasteners that pop out to hold the aluminum frames in place and hold the three-dimensional form.

Describing his design process, Choi states that with the advent of 3D printing and moving towards more complex forms and structures, his idea is to challenge the older yet persistent flat dimension by questioning an images’ confinement to a flat surface.

Mr. Choi’s inspiration for this design comes from a weakness in one of his eyes, that compelled him to observe the world in a manner unique than the others. And as we see, De-Dimensions artfully plays with the objects, seamlessly transferring and blurring the lines of perspective, by looking like an interesting visual element when hanging on a wall to converting into a functional object when needed. A very interesting twist to the non-physical Virtual Reality space with these designs in play!

Designer: Jongha Choi

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YD Spotlight: Nicholas Baker’s Chair Sketch Challenge Pt.4

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Every week (although the timing isn’t particularly fixed), I see a chair sketch on my Instagram feed, and after having seen and liked dozens of them, my mind can almost instantly recognize @nickpbaker’s style and brand of creativity anywhere.

Given the hashtag of #nickschairsketches, Baker uploads unusual conceptual chair designs almost every week. The chairs showcase inventiveness that one rarely sees in furniture design, as concepts take inspiration from quite literally anywhere. Scroll down to see a few of our favorites.

Designer: Nicholas Baker

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Highly appropriate, given the season we’re in, this chair takes direct inspiration from Santa’s sled, and isn’t ashamed of it too! In fact, it ditches the chair legs for sled-skis too! Don’t go pushing this chair downhill though!

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A result of Weekly Design Challenge’s 99th design brief (Plant Pot), Nick combined the two challenges to make a full-scale terracotta seat with planters integrated into its sides, so you can smell the roses as you sit outdoors!

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Made of six pieces of wood and a felt cushion, this concept chair turns into a lounger when you pull the cushion outwards (almost like a cabinet drawer). Pull it further and you’ve got yourself an extra Ottoman stool to sit on, as one chair magically transforms into two!

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Guaranteed to bring the child out in you, this chair literally has some bounce. Part trampoline, part seat, this concept keeps you active while you’re seated, although your productivity may take a slight hit as you bounce up and down in childlike glee through the day!

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This chair’s build is what makes it interesting. Multiple pieces of felt are stacked together, giving the 2D sheets a 3D mass. After a point, the sheets become longer, and bam! You’ve got yourself a backrest. The sheets of felt are held together by brass rivets at the bottom.

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This visually delightful chair may have one of the most simple constructions yet. A transparent sheet of acrylic is thermoformed into the shape of the seat, while a routing machine carves notches into two pieces of wood that allow the acrylic sheet to fit in. Voila! Instant chair!

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The beauty of this chair is in its DIY assembly. Two cushions and four pieces of wood are flat-packed and shipped to your home. Putting them together is as simple as plugging the wood pieces in, resting the cushion on top of the X, and gluing or nailing the backrest in place.

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This chair comes with the additional option of cocooning yourself into your own private little space. The chair comes with a draping of felt around the back and sides. Keep the draping open for regular seating, or lift the drapes up and button them together and you’ve got a completely enclosed (and even sound-absorbing) enclosure that lets you work or relax in peace.

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A single bent piece of pipe forms this seat’s structure while a leather sheet gives you a hammock-like seating area. Sit regularly or sideways, this chair is comfortable, and adds a touch of simplicity to its surroundings.

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Literally a definition of bilateral symmetry, this chair comes in two identical halves, fastened together at the center. Made out of bent sheet-steel (cheap, reliable, and long-lasting), the two modules can be mixed and matched to give you color combinations that suit your space well. The colors are brought about by simply powder-coating the steel, preventing it from rusting and giving it a nice, glossy color finish. Finally, the two mirrored pieces are riveted together at the base, giving you a chair that’s unusual but comfortable!
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Click Here to check out the rest in the Nicholas Baker’s Chair Sketch Challenge series

A Stool For Sitting and Sweating

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Don’t feel bad about having gym phobia, get your hands on the Fitness Stool! The concept explores what happens when exercise equipment meets furniture design.

Usable as an ordinary stool or stepladder, the design is equipped with a scale and an inner compartment for organizing small free weights, power bands, or sandbags used during routine exercises. With integrated handles and durable material finish, users can squat, plank, step and sweat in the comfort of their own home.

Designer: G. Sun Kim

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YD Spotlight: Nicholas Baker’s Chair Sketch Challenge Pt.3

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Every week (although the timing isn’t particularly fixed), I see a chair sketch on my Instagram feed, and after having seen and liked dozens of them, my mind can almost instantly recognize @nickpbaker’s style and brand of creativity anywhere.

Given the hashtag of #nickschairsketches, Baker uploads unusual conceptual chair designs almost every week. The chairs showcase inventiveness that one rarely sees in furniture design, as concepts take inspiration from quite literally anywhere. Scroll down to see a few of our favorites.

Designer: Nicholas Baker

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Both a regular sofa and a rocking sofa, this chair can be flipped 180° depending on which feature you want. The reversible sofa can be sat on both ways, and the handles come with a flat side that gives you a stable sofa when you need, and a rocking sofa when you’re in the mood for some fun!

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A different kind of DIY chair, this one requires some concrete and a hard-hat. The chair comes as a mold that also transforms into a backrest as the mold cavity allows you to craft the seating area of the chair. Ingenious!

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A simple chair made out of a single material, this concept showcases minimalism along with creativity. The bent tubing forms the legs as well as a wide seating area and backrest. You’d probably need a cushion though.

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There’s something just wonderful about how the elastic strap adds punctuation to the chair’s design, giving it definition as well as its form. Without the strap, the chair’s almost like a hammock that you can’t really sit on. Introduce the strap and you’ve got a detail that catches eyes and derrières!

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Inspired by the Bellow, this chair’s cushion effect comes from its unusual design! The roto-molded chair is sturdy, but its accordion- construction gives it a little flexibility as you sit down on it. The seat and backrest flex in their own directions, giving you a seating that’s hard yet soft!

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This chair reminds me a lot of the Red Dot Chair we wrote about earlier. It, however, comes with a cushion that gives you a clear indication of where to seat yourself! The elastic fabric also flexes to accommodate the shape of your body so you’re comfortable no matter what!

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Inspired by the Anicorn and NASA collaboration over the limited edition watch commemorating NASA’s 60th anniversary, this chair is Nick’s hat-tip to NASA on their 60th birthday. It comes with an aluminum frame and a Tyvek cushion, both materials that are used in the aeronautical industry, and bent-sheet-metal legs that give you a feeling of weightlessness!

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Taking a page from the Elastic Band chair from earlier in this series, this chair uses four parts. Two cushions and two bands that come together to form a soft chair with fabric-band armrests.

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Another elastic-oriented concept, this chair comes with a hard wooden base and a soft quilt-like cushion secured around it using elastic straps. The quilt can easily be taken off and washed periodically, and you can even get your own quilt-cushions custom-made and draped over the chair!

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This chair is made of two identical powder-coated sheet metal pieces that ship together stacked/nested within each other to save space. Assembling them involves simply sliding one piece into another to lock them into a chair formation. Nifty, eh?? You can practically ship dozens of units together by simply stacking the parts within each other to save up on space during shipping!