Exocarp Chair

CNC exploration

The chair was inspired by the scaly nature of a reptile skin, as well as the rough skins of foods like cantaloupes and avocados. Both of these skins are used for protection, and in the reptile’s case as a way to reduce moisture loss in the skin. In each of these cases, the skin presents a rough and unwelcoming exterior to ward off predators and protect either the reptile's body or the delicate fruit within. These living beings are obvious examples of functionality prevailing over beauty, and it was precisely the function vs. beauty debate where the idea of the chair really took off./p>

The design separates the surface areas by making the parts that the body touches really smooth and the parts that are on the outside, or away from the skin, textured or irregular. This mimics the scaly nature of reptile skin while preserving the functionality of the chair.

The chair is made using algorithmic design and a 3-axis CNC mill on three sheets of birch plywood. The birch plywood was laminated in a way that would produce a consistent grain direction throughout the whole of the chair; whether it is the horizontal seat or the vertical back, the grain direction remains consistent. By milling the chair in this manner, the grain of the wood even becomes another unexpected pattern in the design. The results show incredible amounts of texture and dimension without even having to touch it.