‘tension bentwood chair’ by dohoon kim image © designboom

korean designer dohoon kim‘s ‘tension bentwood chair’ uses the classic bentwood technique that thonet is known for. many versions of this production method have been developed for a variety of purposes, and kim is continuing this exploration by designing and making objects based on both steam and laminated bentwood skills. his ‘tension bentwood chair’ presented at imm cologne furniture fair 2011 as part of [D3] design talents, is organically structured using the laminating technique.

dohoon kim: tension bentwood chair image © designboom

typically the bentwood technique is executed through the use of moulds, however kim’s method creates curves naturally through the wood’s flexibility and elasticity. his practice begins by cutting ash wood into thin slices, bending them while they are layered and clamped without any moulds – thus allowing him to create curves freely and naturally. if one looks closely, they can see that the curves twist slightly in order to connect to each other. another detail is that the bent backrest has the seam width as the legs in order to maintain a sense of unity within the chair’s construction.

with an appearance similar to that of crutches, the filigree and chair’s solid legs fill both a constructive and aesthetic function.

dohoon kim: tension bentwood chair

dohoon kim: tension bentwood chair up close look at the freely bent form

dohoon kim: tension bentwood chair detail of the laminated pieces of ash wood

dohoon kim: tension bentwood chair process of laminating and bending the chair’s structure

dohoon kim: tension bentwood chair production process and strips of ash wood waiting to be laminated