Making in Miniature:
Chairigami moquettes are a design tool that allow for rapid iteration and prototyping of furniture in miniature at 1/10th scale. These miniatures made in e-flute corrugated board easily translate into full-scale designs using triple wall corrugated board, making it possible to go from idea to fully-functioning product in the span of a few days. Moquettes save material, are forgiving, and easy to manipulate with exacto-knives and tape, making them an accessible and low-cost prototyping system for creating triple wall furniture, fixtures, and toys. Manipulating CAD layouts first through laser-cut miniatures and then through die-cut full-scale prototypes, is an efficient and effective tool chain for cardboard furniture design.
The Chairigami Chair:
The iconic Chairigami chair began as a collection of paper doodles, rough concepts quickly folded and taped together from scrap material. Through working with these hand-made moquettes, I discovered basic cardboard design principles that lead to a design that was simple, flat-packing, and also multi-functional. Using CAD software, I quickly iterated on this design, laser cutting prototype after prototype, until I created a full-scale design that was ergonomic, minimized material, and was structurally sound.
The Steelcase Perch:
Steelcase commissioned Chairigami to prototype a flat-packing, lightweight, cardboard stool for small creative teams. Furniture moquettes allowed us to isolate design requirements, developing extreme designs that focused on specific criteria like storage, leg room, or back support. By distilling the key features from these extreme cases, we created a occasional seating solution for standing desk users, providing good back support, a foot rest, an easel for presentation boards, and temporary storage for belongings. `
Through prototyping and testing the perch design in the Workspring coworking space, we discovered that the rear back support compromised the structural integrity of the stool. This greatly simplified the design as well as the perch assembly as we transitioned back to a modified version of the "simple" moquette design. The perch is now a permanent piece in the chairigami product line.
I continue to prototype and design in miniature. I am currently collaborating with the Stanford design school to prototype a new sofa for their classroom spaces. Moquettes have become our language of furniture design, creating an inclusive design tool that is tactile and easily hackable as we work towards our final design.