GOING WITH THE GRAIN: design an object using sustainable wood

Competition Details

Ply Chaise01

by Robert Watson

My objective is not to try and use the entire 8’ x 4’ sheet and therefore get distracted by having to try and contrive uses for random interstitial pieces that are left. On the contrary, it is to attempt to design a simple elegant chaise from as fewer components as possible and not use any mechanical fastners. It is to also to challenge the connotations of “flat pack” furniture and attempt to make the piece more sculptural and fluid whilst adhering to the rules of the exercise. In the spirit of Carlo Mollino and Charles Eames’s work in bent plywood, the fundamental quantum shift in this piece is the repetitive ploughing on the back of the seating panel to in effect turn it into a large sheet of bending ply. This combined with the precision routing of blind fixing holes that locate with the integral lugs protruding from two profile cut leg frames, allows the seat panel to maintain its shape and creates a rigid structure that also relies on a low centre of gravity when live loaded.