I'm in the need of a desk chair, and am got inspired, today. I'm feeling the itch.
While I know I can do the actual woodworking, it's the finishing that concerns me. The chair will probably be made, exclusively, from plywood, and will be heavily inspired by Marzouanlian in terms of design. I love the "snap together" fish bone construction, and the honesty of the exposed plywood edges.
It'll need a lot of redesign to function as a desk chair, but it's a start. Here's a picture of the beautiful lounge chair, made by Marzouanlian, that is serving as my inspiration:
This is just my inspiration...and I find it very beautiful. It's one of those things that, when I saw it, I knew I had to reinterpret it for my own purposes. And, this chair snaps together like one of those old plywood dinosaur skeleton models. Ingenious!
As it's been less than 24 hours, the details are still in flux. But it could be made from plywood, MDF, or a combination of structural plywood and the seat from solid stock. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking Baltic birch plywood, and ebonized seat slats. But, no matter how it ends up being built, there's going to be a LOT of edges to finish. So, I'm trying to figure out how to do an attractive exposed plywood edge.
Eames managed it, regularly. So did a number of mid century designers. How did they do it, without resorting to wood tape?
Certainly interesting looking, but doesn't look really comfortable to me.... Maybe thats just me.
Most hardwood (oak, maple, etc.) plywood is made in such a way that with just a slight rounded edge from a router, they look good, and dont separate...
You see, it looks very comfortable to me. Hmmm.
But I love the way he made it where volume and lightness are not mutually exclusive. It's both interesting, and beautiful.
A cantilevered desk chair might be an interesting way to reinterpret this design...I'm not just going to copy his, plank for plank. Cross that skeletonized construction, with this kind of shape...and yes, I know I'll have to do some structural planning, but this type of organic simplicity appeals to me.
It *is* pretty...and very sculptural. And very feminine.
But it wouldn't work as a desk chair...making a desk chair is my goal.
Well, I've slept on it, and come to a decision.
I've decided that I genuinely like this approach to making a chair, but that it will need a few "tweaks" to work as a real chair, and not a design project. The slats are going to be a bit closer together, not tremendously, but a bit. Instead of 2" spacing between the slats, it'll be 1.5"...that kind of thing.
And I think it'll be made from fiberboard...high density, if I can find it, MDF if I can't. Very modern in appearance, no grain to worry about, and with proper finishing it's actually quite attractive. If it doesn't look good, I can always get some oak. Orange shellac, here I come!
While I'm going for comfort, it doesn't *actually* have to be supremely comfortable, as it's just going to sit at the desk in front of my server...and I don't often work in front of my server, directly. The furniture in that room is Danish modern, so it should fit in rather nicely.
Project: Desk chair
My thoughts are leaning towards a low backed chair, with the same seat, but cantilevered off of a base shaped rather like "sled rails." A desk chair, needing to slide in and out on carpet, will require a slightly different approach than the lounge chair shown in the initial link. I'll model it and see what it looks like, when I get a chance.
This should be fun!!!
P.S. I'm not the only one to be inspired by this chair. UpCycle-Us built their own version of this chair, from plywood, and claims that it is quite comfortable. Theirs lacks the sculptural quality of the original, though.
Post pictures as you work on this project! I am interested to see how it goes.
I've got to design the thing, first...this is just my inspiration, right now.
But, thanks for the support!
Here are some other photos, that are inspiring to me. It helps to see it from all sides:
And, another chair of similar construction, but this one "feels" heavier:
If I can do this successfully, it seems like this is a neat way to build furniture! I've always loved sculptural pieces, and even antiques...those heavily sculpted tractor seats were supremely comfortable, despite a complete lack of cushioning.
This should be an interesting project.
OOOOOOOO! I want one.... That one does actually look comfortable. To me though, I desk chair needs wheels
A few modifications, a couple of dovetails, and I think we have a winner. This one, after sleeping on it, has that grace that I want in a design...while still retaining the super ultra modern look.
Next...redesigning it so it works as a desk chair. And, I don't think a desk chair needs wheels...but "sled rails" would allow it to slide more easily on carpet. That's why I'm looking at redesigning the details.
This one is called a "Shell Chair" and is by Branca.