2014-15   //   Cherry veneer.


Cirro is a cantilevered lounge chair made entirely from custom laminated cherry plywood, built from only two pieces joined together. The primary driver behind the work was non-traditional material use – a study in how plywood can be used in organic, curved shapes to make a soft, supple seat. The cantilevered seat arches up from the ground to meet the sitter, and yields under the weight of their body. The light flex of the material creates a sense of being held.

Cirro won the 2014 International Design Award – Furniture category honorable mention. The work also earned an honorable mention for Emerging Designer of the Year.

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Roughly 70 years after the Eames Lounge Chair (LCW) was designed and produced, Cirro seeks to offer a contemporary response to that classic design. The chair mixes the LCW’s organic plywood form with vacuum-forming technology to create an expanded, three-dimensional volume from a thin, flat material. This results in a form that contrasts the planar nature of the material – and in the process inviting space to relax into, which belies it’s traditional application as a rigid, flat surface.

The design was refined at full scale, using the same buck for final vacuum-forming to prototype mock-ups of the plywood contours. The buck held the necessary geometry for the chair (such as the seat height, seat angle, back angle, and arm position), but the plywood determined the final form. The arcs formed between these constrained points created forms that are expressive of the material’s properties. The lamination took place in two stages, first the bottom, then the top. Each edge was carefully sanded by hand, to create contours that are as gratifying to the hand as they are to the eye.

Cirro is a prefix for a family of high-altitude clouds that extend in thin wisps.