plywood slotwork furniture

Think you don’t have the skills to build furniture? Don’t sell yourself short. Sometimes all it takes is a little thinking outside the box to produce designs that are surprisingly sturdy and cool looking to boot. Take these DIY plywood chairs, for instance. The key here isn’t to hand craft heirloom pieces of wooden furniture. It’s in finding the balance that will allow the simple elements to fit together just right so they can hold weight.

Sometimes design errs on the side of art, and sometimes it trends toward engineering – this is definitely in the latter category. Designed by the Turner Collective, the Series 1A plywood furniture collection shows that sometimes the most basic and inexpensive materials can produce sculptural and highly functional results.

Simple bare plywood chairs

Here’s what The Turner Collective has to say about the series:

“Series 1A is a collection of minimalist objects, balancing objectivity, schematic clarity and inner logic, leading to a natural functionalism and geometric simplicity. Removing all representational imagery or similarity of subject, the objects are reduced to mathematics; rational, simple and clear, uncomplicated by personal, moral or philosophical boundaries.”

Minimalist plywood furniture design

Reduced to their mathematics, indeed – but still, they are not without their humanity. The proportions of the people who will use them are critical, and upon the base designs could easily be built a series of more comfortable additions for further softening them.

Obviously, bare plywood furniture of this sort is not for everyone, nor are such stark, hard surfaces. But designs like these are a testament to how different people with different skills and ideas can take the very same material and come up with vastly different results. What do you think you would make if someone handed you nothing more than some plywood, a ruler and a saw, and asked you to produce your own line of furniture?