Next Gen Furniture in Wood

Lately we've been noticing lots of interesting designs in wood—not the super ironic, kitschy stuff that's been so common lately, but clean, understated designs that speak to the wood itself. Here's a roundup of some examples.

The "Let's Go Camping" line, designed by Jesper Thomsen for Normann-Copenhagen, references the cheap-o nylon lawn furniture that everyone knows and loves, but recreates those forms with some virtuoso woodworking. The results are surprisingly elegant, given the original inspiration: 



This bowl, made by Greg Gallegos from maple with a natural edge, is an out-right steal at $55 on Etsy


Usually chairs as light and thin as the IRI chair by Paolo Cappello are made of thermoplastics. But this one is all wood, and it's light enough to be lifted with a single finger. Capello wanted to create a wood chair with the absolute minimum of materials; the curve of its back legs comes from the wood's natural curve: 



Wood chaise lounges like this one by SchindlerSalemeron are usually created by steaming wood then bending it, as with Prouve's famed Antony chair or the Eames Molded Plywood Chair. But this one is actually made by routing two sheets of wood at ultra-precise angles, and then fitting them together like the two sides of a zipper. Tiny variations in the cuts produce the chair's curves. Forget about handworking; the magic is all in the computerized routing: 

Zip Chair

Zip Chair 2

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  • Hagay Vider

    What a waste of material! The bowl and the chaise lounge require most of the natural wood to routed away. For the bowl to have a wide enough diameter, it also requires chopping down the trunk of old growth trees, which absorb the most CO2 and are also the most fertil seed-bearing trees.
    The "cheap-o" computer rendering of the "Let's Go Camping" line shows it for what it is, an esoteric design exercise for the overly bored. The design strips the "known and loved" aluminum and nylon lawn furniture of its primary functional advantage -they fold. All the "virtuoso woodworking" will not prevent the thin wood straps from being worn, splitting and breaking. Lets just face it, there is a reason why these are uncommon in load-bearing furniture (chairs), and are often replaced with rattan, leather, and even "cheap-o" nylon.
    The IRI chair is elegant, attractive, and the only example of sensible design.

  • Lisa Bayne

    Beautiful, simple, modern. May I suggest you also check out artist-made modern wood furniture at - still elegant, still modern design, but crafted by individual American artists. Look for Richard Judd, Dylan Gold, Derek Secor Davis, Wren and Cooper to name a few.