Architecture and design studio KALO have designed Stratum, a wooden folding chair that was created using a 5-axis CNC machine.
The designer’s description
For this design, there were a number of sources that helped inspire its formal qualities; from the sinuous shapes of a human body, to the works of Hector Guimard, to rock formations carved by natural forces. In addition, the inspiration for the interlocking connection joint came from studying religious book stands that are carved from a single piece of wood and feature two interlocking parts. The swiveling action of the chair also helps reduce its original volume by half, making it easier for shipping.
The Stratum chair was born out of a desire to create a piece of furniture that expresses its function and the material it uses in a very organic fashion, while taking advantage of advanced CNC milling and fabrication technologies. Its unique formal and visual qualities are born out of the ways in which the plywood strata layers are carved to highlight the chair’s functional features. Its termination at the ground with three legs also accentuates the design’s edginess and give it a sense of delicate balance.
The main parts of the design are composed of laminated sheets of Baltic Birch plywood. Most of the features of the chair, its sharp edges, flowing form of its back and seat, as well as the central interlocking joint were designed to leverage the extra axis of freedom that a 5-axis CNC milling machine offers. Multiple iterations of those features were produced made to properly calibrate their fabrication process while maintaining a strong design language