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Overview of chair
Side view
Stress testing
Chair in closed position
Front view showing stress pattern holes
Side view
Stress analysis by structural engineers Price and Myers
Stress analysis by structural engineers Price and Myers

FORSTNER CHAIR BY MATTHEW JONES DESIGN

The chair is made from 18mm plywood salvaged from a skip, and uses standard butt hinges and stainless steel cable to form a ‘suspended’ seat, in which the sitter hangs in mid-air.

Once the design concept was established, finite element analysis was undertaken of the simple plywood structure by structural engineers Price and Myers, to analyse the stresses present, and thus determine areas where plywood may be removed to optimise the structure.

The resulting stress patterns were translated into a series of circular holes, which were made in the plywood using a hand drill. As well as reducing the mass, these patterns are a visual representation of the forces present throughout the structure.

The process looks to ‘front-load’ the effort in the design work, in order to combine very simple affordable (or salvaged) materials and fittings with advanced computer analysis and CAD templating to provide a more optimal design than would otherwise be possible. The subsequent production of paper copy CAD cutting patterns make the actual fabrication process fast and simple from readily available materials.