GOING WITH THE GRAIN: design an object using sustainable wood

Competition Details

Spry-Ply Chair

by Patrick Delahoy

Spry-Ply chair provides a prototype for a seat which is lightweight, can be packed flatly, and can be assembled or disassembled by one person in a couple minutes. Requiring nothing more than a typical couch pillow to soften itself, the seat fits in a home, office, library, or school environment, among others. If hung and covered, the object can also function as a lampshade. The form comprises almost entirely curves and celebrates the stability and stiffness of plywood even in thinner dimensions.

The generating geometry is symmetrical about a central vertical axis. In section the master-shape is designed with a bottom surface that will sit stably on the ground and a top surface that is contoured for comfortable sitting. It is then divided into latitudes and meridians which are thickened to form ribs. The ribs are then eroded to lighten the object and make possible a resolvable assembly sequence. Once the ribs are joined, two rings tie the meridians together at the top and bottom. The fully-constructed seat can only come apart by active reversal of the assembly procedure.

Glue or special connectors are not needed. The pieces are unique and few enough that the object can be built without the need for labeling or text on the assembly diagram. This principle would simplify mass- production for an international market.