Frank Furniture

Design Project

Frank Furniture is a project explored in 2016/17, my final year of design school. The project combines the use of sets of two modular pieces that can be connected and disconnected without the need for tools or external hardware. Its' inception was based on my interest not only in furniture design, but also in how to mitigate the waste generated by traditional furniture.


At the time, I worked as a design consultant for a furniture company and saw firsthand how much material is wasted in the manufacture, shipment, and assembly of traditional furniture.   

Early concepts for Frank Furniture were based primarily on the goal of minimizing the complexity of furniture assembly via easily understandable and flat-packed components.

Original laser-cut models utilized specifically-cut joinery to attach pieces, a theme that continued throughout the final design process. 

Mid-stage prototypes explored scale 3D-printed models. Over the course of the semester I printed hundreds of these pieces, many of which were massive failures. Adjusting for tolerance granted me understanding of materiality which I was then able to translate into higher-fidelity prototypes comprised of plywood and plastic-plywood. 

Eventually, a final product emerged: two different modular pieces that allowed both

for ease of assembly and stability in materiality that I was in search of. These components consisted of CNC-milled plywood pieces that were layered using a rig. 

Each component consisted of a flat set of keys and an angled side with an individual key which allowed for the two pieces to link together to form long stretches of keys for smooth surfaces or stability. The side keys can link to form more complex, curving structures. 

Frank Furniture can be used to build chairs, tables, bookshelves...all without the need for tools or hardware. It can be broken down and reassembled depending on the needs of the user. The project relies heavily on the torque capabilities of plywood, but future tests would ideally be conducted with plastic-plywood, depending on the manufacturing process. In the future I would like to have the opportunity to experiment more with the sizes of each module and how they can contribute to larger-scale projects. 

The final presentation for this project can be found here