Frank

Furniture Design

Overview

Frank Furniture is a project explored in 2017. 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.   

My Role

Sole Designer

Timeline

2016 - 2017

Goals

How can we address the waste generated by traditional furniture shipping and assembly?

Design Process

Frank Furniture's original goal was to mitigate the need for external assembly tools and joinery. After having seen the traditional furniture shipping process, I was motivated to explore avenues through which we can address the waste generated by this process and also how we might make furniture assembly more accessible to people who might otherwise be unable to assemble their own furniture. 

As the prototyping process went on, I expanded - why not push the boundaries as far as I could and make the product not only accessible but also as flexible as possible? By creating a product that would be both easily assembled but also with the capacity to be disassembled and then built into something else entirely, are we not attempting to mitigate the most number of pain points in terms of waste? 

The prototypes moving forward changed drastically, taking on a more fluid shape capable of creating both curves and flat surfaces for maximum flexibility. 3D modeling proved itself to be the best way to explore high-fidelity prototyping while minimizing time. 

Design Solutions

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.

Moving Forward

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. 

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