Wooden Cushion? 500 Cuts Make Soft Seat from Hard Wood

Working with wood, one learns quickly that flexibility is lost when thickness is added – but strength is lost is you make something too thin. One solution is to try and take the best from both properties, as this ingenious seating system does.

Titled Spring Wood, the series of three pieces shown here each represent hundreds of hours of prototype modeling, building, carving and testing by recent arts academy graduate (and award-winning) Carolien Laro and associates. Each seat itself has about five hundred machined slices made through it.

The so-called ‘wooden pillows’ that come out of the process are not mechanized, however, in such a way that makes them easy to mass produce. Choosing the right wood cutting and gluing all take time and hand-crafting effort.

Still, the idea is worth the work when one sees the results – self-molding seats that conform in a loose way to the shape of the sitter, and deform in proportion to their weight. Variations on the theme are theoretically endless – with wheels, the flexibility is increased, while a frame provides more rigid support in a stable-location context.

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