Bow Spring Chair_MIT

The bow spring chair was designed and fabricated as part of a furniture making workshop at MIT. I was interested in how the arms and legs of the chair could work in unison as a type of double bow spring structure – becoming extremely strong under direct loading, yet flexible and responsive to the shifting load of the user.

The legs and arms of the chair are made from 1/8” steam bent, glue laminated strips of ash secured at each end by folded steel shoes. CNC milled MDF formwork was required for the glue lamination of the legs and the seat of the chair. The steel shoes are made from sheet steel heated with a rosebud torch to enable the tight U-shaped geometry.

The side profile of the chair is extremely light consisting of three swooping lines – the two lines of the bow, and the single line of the chair itself. The legs/arms of the chair are flexible enough to respond to the movements of the user creating a very comfortable seat. The seat is fixed to the rear cross beam but can slide over the front beam allowing for a greater range movement. The clean lines of the swooping chair are maintained by fixing the cross beams to the underside of the bows.

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Chair Flex Diagram

Main Shot A Resized

Side A Resized

Side B Resized

Detail B Resized

Detail A Resized

Detail C Resized



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