The evolution of the Modern Movement in furniture design began in the mid 19th century and has yielded many well-known chair designs. There is no reason to suppose that this evolution will not continue into the 21st century.
The purpose of this project and accompanying paper is to research notable advancements in the Modern Movement and create a design that incorporates them. The resulting design will be in the tradition of the movement but will further incorporate lightweight methods into the creation of a lounge chair that is knock-down and packaged compactly for shipping or storage. Successful designs of the past were studied and their incorporating principles were noted. These principles were directly applied to the design project to ensure that the product could be inexpensively designed, manufactured, packaged, and shipped to the end user.
The design process was followed through phases of analysis and synthesis while continual feedback yielded 13 versions of the design. The final ½ scale study model consisted of a planar form of 1/16 in. recycled plastic sheeting less than 2 ft. x 4 ft. in size.
It was found that the resulting planar form could be rolled and packaged in a compact container and shipped inexpensively. Once received, the consumer could then assemble the 2D sheet into a 3D form. The assembled design was comprised of several compound curves bio-morphically arranged to create “tensioned loops” that comprise the three sections of seat, backrest, and footrest. These loops were designed to be held in tension using inexpensive cord laced similarly to common shoe lacing.
The resulting object naturally conforms to the varied physical geometry of the individual. A system was devised so that the angle of the backrest is adjustable from upright to fully reclined.
Packaging options were developed and evaluated based on varied physical requirements, dimensional weight, and volume. Data was collected and compiled relating to currently available shipping methods and variable costs associated with each.
The forms and packaging were nearly completely developed. Future research may include studies into structural integrity, variable tensioning techniques, alternative materials, and color and finish options.