The Tension Chair is a stool that utilises the mechanical principle of tensegrity to create the illusion of a floating seat.
The explicitly distributed and open source nature of the project teaches students about the possibilities digital fabrication has to offer in changing the relationship between the design and consumer - exemplified in the Udemy course; Design for Distributed. Lastly, The chair is simple enough to be fabricated on most CNC routers and the functional components are readily accessible in any hardware store, making it easy to build and assemble the chair, perhaps in small teams of students, to get hands on experience working with distributed furniture design.
This chair, as part of a workshop, can be used as an educational tool for discussing physics/mechanics, highlighting the distributed design process and demonstrating practical CNC and assembly skills. The tensegrity structure is intriguing and novel enough to grab students’ attention, which facilitates learning about the work of Buckminster Fuller and applying tension in engineering to save material.
It has been designed to be manufactured using CNC, made available open source and applies circular design principles, such as design for disassembly.
SDG Profile (selected SDG’s)
- 4 - Quality Education
- 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
- 12 - Responsible Consumption and ProductionOpenness
All the files and plans are accessible via Wikifactory. The project is open for collaboration.
Schools/makerspaces are the primary facilitator for education. Mostly because fabrication requires a CNC router, which would require trained supervision for safety and practicality. Nonetheless, teachers and/or makers in the school workshop, or the local fablab, can build a class around the tension chair, to discuss, demonstrate and share the practicalities of engineering, distributed design and digital fabrication.