Chair designs are the first category that designers should explore because they are simple and yet the smallest of adjustments can make them innovative. Also, let’s accept it – you never get tired of looking at new chair designs! It could be a new material, a bold shape, maybe it has a dual purpose or something like KERF – a space-saving chair that you can literally hang up like a piece of clothing!
It can be called a stool or a chair, but KERF gives the otherwise rigid object warmth and flexibility. You can literally put it on a hanger and store it like a piece of clothing in a wardrobe which sets it apart from its counterparts. If needed, just open the flap and you can have a setup ready for your guests in seconds.
The intention was to enrich the plywood, make it flexible and bend it as if it were paper for the art of origami. KERF was designed for small living spaces and for practicality, it is perfect for those who live in urban apartments or shared spaces. It reminds me of Japandi style furniture or Scandinavian decor with its warm and minimal aesthetic.
The unique chair takes its name from the kerfing technique – this is the method of folding plywood by pattern cutting. It is only good to do this once to get the desired curvature, but not suitable for repetitive and long term bending as it will cause the plating layer to crack. The kerf technique can be optimized for CNC milling process to save production time and cost.
The mood board for the project shows folded plywood with grooves, laser-cut flat furniture, folding chairs, and interlocking leather belts – all of these come together in the final design as details. The chair uses a groove, the hinges are made of leather, it can be packed compactly, and it has an origami-like silhouette.
To make sure it was durable yet flexible, Hamza decided to use thick leather instead of hinges. This detail allows KERF to withstand repetitive bending cycles while the alternative (leather) hinge can outlast the traditional hinge, making it a piece of furniture that stays with you for the long haul (it is also easy to to move !). KERF is certainly a wonderful example of how chairs can be simple while adding to existing form and function!
Designer: Hamza Bavčić