The (Im)Ply furniture line was developed as an exploration of the formal possibilities of a planar material. Its resulting aesthetic emerges from a digitally driven conception and production process. Utilizing parameter based modeling software; the form of each individual piece is generated from customized functional and formal characteristics. A variety of chair or table profiles can be created quickly, efficiently and cost effectively using Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) technology. Chaise lounge surfaces can be adjusted to fit each individual. Table tops could be fabricated to contain fruit, hold a vase or a serving tray display. Exploiting the machine’s ability to cut material in three dimensions, it is possible to fabricate a complexly curved surface along the edge of each rib. The furniture’s surface is produced and visually implied via the material edge, rather than the materials finished face. The “file-to-factory” and CNC fabrication technologies speed up production time, minimize material waste, and increase precision and quality; all while reducing the embodied energy and skilled labor to design, document and produce the furniture.
Rather than using environmentally devastating exotic solid hardwoods, im-ply furniture transforms the everyday, banal material – plywood. Because plywood is produced from a continuous ribbon cut from a tree log, it utilizes far more material from the tree than solid stock wood. The core of the plywood sheets consists of alternating layers of Northwest alder and birch. The alternating laminations of this virtually void-free plywood provides superior rigidity while using less material and creating a light appearance to the furniture. The design exploits these highly contrasting alternating layers in that they visually exaggerate the undulating contours of the furniture’s form.