Ultralight Flex Chair: Flat-Pack Aluminum, Strong like Steel
Flat-pack furniture usually comes with one of two problems (if not both): either it requires a great deal of assembly (see: Ikea) or is heavy and hard to move around (also see: Ikea). This curious-looking aluminum chair is a one-piece object that is easy to move around at will yet sturdy as well, thanks to industrial-inspired grooves that line its legs, seat and back rest.
Dubbed the Pressed Chair, this elegant industrial work by furniture designer Henry Thaler starts with a thin cut aluminum sheet (only a few millimeters thick). Critically, the metal is warped to provide rigidity when the legs and back are folded into position. Much like a steel I-beam or corrugated cardboard box, shape is as important as inherent material strength in accomplishing maximum ends with minimal means.
While it is hard to say whether you could fold it back up at the end of the day, for one-way delivery these flat-pack chairs make a great deal of sense. They can nest and stack – imagine how many you could pack into a thin and relatively lightweight box (or the number that could be stuffed into a shipping container).
Since it is a solid-material design, recycling them would be much easier as well – no need to break the furniture down into component parts, since it is constructed from top to bottom of a single material. How could it get any simpler? There is a stool variant as well.
About the designer
“Harry Thaler is a designer whose work reinterprets fundamental design typologies by combining high quality and traditional craftsmanship with innovative shapes and materials. Trained as a goldsmith, whose background has a strong influence on his design process, he earned his MA in Design Products from the Royal College of Art (2010). In the same year Thaler opened his own studio in London and developed the Pressed Chair, which immediately became very well known. “
“Thaler works with international companies such as Nils Holger Moormann, Pulpo, Davide Groppi, Monocle, Leaos and Olev Light. His field of activity also includes the design of indoor and outdoor spaces as well as projects in the field of architecture. “