Meet ALVAR Chair! This is my first chair made of curved plywood. And this project has become pretty important and special for me. Plywood as woodworking material and the technology of plywood bending has a number of features. On the one hand, these features impose certain restrictions to the future design. But on the other hand, these same features fill the future shape with the unique character or spirit inherent in objects made of curved plywood solely.
We know a lot of outstanding products made of this material and world-famous designers who work with plywood. I think Alvar Aalto, Charles and Ray Eames, Arne Jacobsen are most influenced masters in this field. They can be rightfully considered as an authors of the most ingenious furniture designs which are made of curved plywood.
Today a lot of modern young designers use this material and create beautiful furniture pieces. And those designers who work with plywood knows how incredibly difficult to create the next 'design icon' or just something new.
Of course, working on the ALVAR I was inspired by the works of Alvar Aalto, and Charles and Ray Eames. And abstracting from the well-known masterpieces is very difficult. That is why the designing process was very exciting but extremely complicated and responsible for me. Using experience of the past and present to create something new was the main challenge for me.
As for me I consider design to be good when the physical and mechanical properties of the material are reflected in the shape of the product, and the shape is inextricably interwoven with function and ergonomics. If you look at the ALVAR Chair from different angles, you will understand what I'm talking about. In the side view, the ALVAR Chair looks like a few thin twisted lines that support each other. These lines transmit the strain to each other and distribute it among themselves in the correct proportions. I believe this is the real beauty of the union of material, technology and function.
In the process of creating the prototype of this chair, my team and I did a lot of experiments and corrections. Only empirically we managed to catch the ideal ergonomic solution. The final prototype version was very different from the first sketches.
When I finished this chair and the final prototype was ready I was not ashamed to name this chair in honor of Alvar Aalto, whose works inspire me not only in this design.
A few shots of prototyping and woodworking process...