Two simple furniture production methods

I have long worked with all kinds of wood products and solid materials and been inspired by scandinavian and italian designers who have research applications in both building and furniture. In the small workshop most furniture must be simple in form because the pieces should be easy to machine accurately at low labor cost. Precision cutting and joinery methods have become in industrial countries normal. Assembly techniques rely largely on glueing and clamping methods which haven’t been revolutionized for hundreds of years or have been replaced by metal and plastic hardware assembly. After 2000 I began to see that woodworking and construction are simply based on «Cut and Paste» methods of production.

Beginning in 2011 as a project for the «Error» competition from FormForum.ch, I began a research to find a new ways to make chairs and thereby discover new forms and relationships. What has come out of the development is a set of wood furniture based on folding principles. This making method is normally associated with: paper, cardboard, sheet metal and plastic sheets due to material properties. I decided to try it in wood using a protective non stretch film on the surfaces which acts as a protector as the glue dries in the joint and provides a hinge for controlled indexing at assembly. The end products can seem a bit retro but the idea of assembling using low pressure joinery has the potential to shift the normal wood production processes. The name described how the pieces of wood are folded at the joints which brings a fresh angular character to the seat while offering a comfortable solid wood chair. The debut of the «Folds» chair  was at the Kulturbüro’s Pop Up store spring 2013 in Bern and during two weeks I gathered feedback from visitors about how to improve experience. Some reviewers find the chair form Anthroprosophic due to form and material choice but are driven from the concept statement: A stackable solid wood chair optimizing material use made with CNC cutting from a single piece of wood product that is structural stability, produceable at low cost and ergonomically correct for a dining chair. The assembly method of  cut, fold and past achieves this statement.

Folds-2x

Back in 2007, I developed and exhibited the CP (Cut/Paste) line of tables where a rectangle of sheet material is CNC cut so that the legs come from the corners of the table top and can be assembled with simple fasteners. This resulted in three very distinctive table forms which are very comfortable, positively influence behavior and optimized seating at them. The project was exhibited at the Berner Design Awards in 2007 and won a prize from Form Forum Schwiez in 2008.

The CP-dining table’s form is a modern table which doesn’t have  problems of oval or elliptical table geometries but allows people on the same side of the table to see each other. The table top floats over the legs which are set back and formed to never be in the way. The table is reasonable to produce and provides a positive behavioral influence of how people gather around a table.

Essen-gray

The red plywood “Treff” table has the wonderful aspect that up to 8 people can sit around it , there is plenty of leg room and no one gets a corner in the stomach. It is a great little breakfast, balcony, break-out room or restaurant table. When pushed together with others it creates a very nice pattern and intriguing juxtapositions of body and form for discussion  or talking over a beer. Hence the german name “Treff”.

Treff-red 

The CP-Salon table is being reborn with a fresh form. The table top can be ordered in several forms and lengths because I organize the templates to reduce waste and make them by hand. With this table you can order a hidden metal drawer to hide your magazines or you can detach the legs, stand them upright and remount the top to be a side or breakfast table.

CP-coffee

These material saving designs also promote quality user experience because the seating relationships are better than round or rectangular formats. Available in eight solid woods like maple, black walnut or smoked, plywood with Linoleum (20 colors) or color coated plywood (4 colors) the CP-line has a full range of solutions to fit many home or office needs. To order or for further information please contact me at: info@riggs-design.ch

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