Panel – zero waste stools

Motivation for Project Direction:

As a designer, one of the products I interact with most other than a pen and paper is stools of different varieties. I like simple stools, so I thought to myself, how might I make the simplest stools, using minimal manufacturing methods, time, material and waste. I took a sustainable approach because everyone should be mindful of the garbage we put out in the world.


Mindmap

Through the process of asking questions to dip deeper, I realized that I am a resourceful designer who curiously observes and experiments with materials at my disposal to create work that can be appreciated from a functional point of view.

Materials Used

Cut and engraved anodized titanium.

Titanium has a superior strength-to-weight ratio, making it a prime choice for a refined design from a raw material.

Panel size – 45″ x 15″ x 0.25″.


01: Low stool elevated 15″ off the floor, with side storage for drinks and small books.


02: Low bench elevated 15″ off the floor for pairs to engage in casual conversation.


03: Low stool elevated 13.5″ off the floor, with under storage for books and magazines.


Process

Sketches

I decided to do quick, dirty and iterative ideation so I could then narrow my options down after generating ideas for multiple kinds of interesting forms.

Technical Drawings

Unibody slits and folds stools.

I decided to make a collection of three different stools to prove that such an object can be cut out of a single material without any post processing and still serve its function.

Making Process

After cutting the pieces, the only post processing/assembly is to bend along the engraved lines using heating element or rigid force from a machine to achieve accurate angles and creases.

User Testing

A semi-failed 2/3 scale mockup that I made from acrylic to test the proportions of the stools. Due to choice of scoring the material to make bend indications, the scored lines acted as a beginning of a tear in the material. Bending along the tear led to panels falling off.