Myles Sampson
Digitially Fabricated Kongo Chair
Cambridge, MA
Year: 2021 Collaborators: Individual

This project is a parody of the ubiquitous folding chair. The design method addresses the possibilities, constraints, and challenges of digital fabrication in the design process. After initial sketches, I found that the folding chair could be imagined as two interlocking parts. These interlocking parts can be separated for easy storage or additional functions. Building off African Tribal Chairs and their parody in the Finnish Designers Ilmari Chair, I looked to re-contextualize this design approach in contemporary design computing processes.

Through iterative sketching, modeling, and load testing, I developed a design that met the functional requirements of a chair, the constraints of applicable mechanical processes in the laser cutter and the CNC machine, and the design constraint of an interlocking joint. I n the digital design process, I made careful attention to the tolerances to resolve the tectonics of design in the assembly process. In the design and prototyping processes, I tested various types of flat wood materials to handle the structural load in the design’s cantilever. And through this material approach, the form of the chair became refined and sophisticated.