W3: Furniture Design Iterations

For this week, we went through two rounds of iterations to design a chair for the elderly that can be easily popped up in any environment. Taking inspiration from the cardboards the elderly use to sit on in a public setting, the initial chair design aims to abstract the concept of casual seating and easiness of assembly. Additionally, I wanted to create pockets of space within the chair that will allow the elderly to place their belongings within an arm’s reach.

After designing the first chair, I reflected on the overall form and structural feasibility. As I started the design by starting with a sketch of flat layout of a box, the chair ended up looking very boxy and conventional. The form wasn’t very interesting. However, through the process of model making, there were a couple of serendipitous moments. As I could not fully visualise how to make the model, I had to improvise while making it. This improvisation created a new pocket of space for storage – a space to hang their belonging on the backrest (e.g. newspaper). This was something I wanted to keep in the next iteration. Additionally, the legs of the chair were fairly stable, and hence was kept in the next round of iteration as well.

Improvements on the form and structure were made as seen in the pictures above.
1. Enforcing the hexagonal shape onto the form
2. Angling the front legs of the chair to allow ease of transition from sitting to standing
3. Angling of the backrest by 5 degrees for greater comfort

The second iteration looked more interesting and dynamic. The angular facets added character to the chair. However, in my attempt to angle the front legs, it posed a challenge for its structural feasibility. It ended up being less stable than the first model.

For the third design, I wanted to push the form even further by enforcing the hexagonal profile on the side, front and top to strengthen the character of this chair. The aim of this chair was to completely remove the legs and incorporate it into the seating as well. While designing and making this chair, I still wanted to retain the pockets of space for storage within the chair itself. This is evident in the holes beneath and behind the chair. The angling of the chair legs to allow for ease of standing is absorbed into the placement of the seating – nearer to the front such that the weight of the elderly will tip the chair over naturally. These pockets of space brought up the opportunity to study the relationship between the voids and solids of the chair on its side profile, which will be the focus of the upcoming iterations.


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