If you want a chair that takes craftsmanship to the next level, look no further than Eny Parker’s Honest Chair: a deceptively simple piece of furniture made from compound-curved plywood. Parker, a Savannah College of Art and Design graduate student, won the 2015 Bienenstock Furniture and Interior Design Competition for her innovative chair design. “As designers, we should not only appreciate materials, but push their natural characteristics to become something unimaginable,” says Parker.
The Honest Chair’s organic shape was inspired by the curvaceous designs of Frank Gehry. The complex construction process starts with a hand-cut foam prototype that provides the mold for the plywood sheets. Parker pre-steamed six plywood sheets for the compound curve so that the wood would bend in two directions, one along the grain and one against. She used multiple clamps on the plywood to achieve the desired bend before gluing them together in the vacuum bag with the mold.
Once the pair of curved forms was set, Parker trimmed the excess wood to the desired shape and height. The two shapes were joined with biscuit joints to create a flush seam. Two stainless steel Chicago screws, placed beneath the seat, offer extra support to the minimalist chair. In recognition of her work, the Bienenstock Furniture Library will award Parker a $5,000 scholarship at the High Point Market this month.