Project Title: Folded Chair, Norie Matsumoto, NMHK Co. Ltd.
Folded Chair was designed for a project called “Out of the Woods” which was organized by American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) as part of London Design Festival in September 2012. The project was a collaboration work with Benchmark, PE International and Royal College of Art (RCA). I was one of the students from RCA Design Products. My RCA tutors, Sebastian Wrong and Harry Richardson were also participants of this project and advised me on the developing of my design.
The project brief is to design as a seat for function, and materials to be used are American hardwoods and veneers. The starting point of the design was how the chair could become a beautiful timber object while it is folded. So that the journey to find the folding mechanism was how to open the folded chair, rather than how to fold the chair.
The chair for 2012 LDF is made by American ash and American walnut to show the contrast of two colors which they give beautiful accent for asymmetric design. It used the knuckle joints for folding legs which are very skilled and hand crafted. After 2012 LDF, I tried to find how I can reduce working time to make the chair, but also keep the same design concept.
The chair has to keep the craft manner but also it should has more potential for production. I found the new joint system, that is using hinges which I designed for this chair instead of knuckle joints. Using hinges helped a lot to reduce working time, and at the same time each chair could be made in same condition. I used only American ash at this time, because the grain pattern is very beautiful and strong enough to explain my concept. The new version of Folded Chair is still an enjoyable object when it is leaning on the wall.