Most people dream of owning eye-catching furniture, but not everyone has room for fancy yet large tables or distinctive but voluminous seats. Space becomes even more of a problem if you find yourself hosting guests once in a while, but not often enough to warrant purchasing permanent chairs in your already cramped living quarters. Foldable tables and chairs have become solutions to this dynamic space problem, but most of these sacrifice aesthetics in exchange for flexibility. Of course, there are some exceptions, especially within the realm of speculative or concept design, where form and function are both treated with equal dignity. This foldable chair, for example, clearly has a utilitarian construction, but it still manages to throw in a few design elements that give it the same stylish characteristic as leather-covered furniture and stationery.
Designer: Jeongwoo SEO
Traditional foldable chair designs come in wooden or metallic forms, with hinges and pivots that allow parts of the choir, usually the seat, to fold up or down to create a more compact shape. Although it’s a practical and simple design, it’s definitely not the only way to fold a chair. Given certain factors, it might not even be the best solution.
The Folio Chair takes a different approach to the folding puzzle, requiring no hinges or screws to implement the mechanism. Instead, it seems to take inspiration from papercraft and art such as origami, where simply pushing or pulling a single part can change the object’s shape. In this case, pulling the top of the chair upward causes the folds of the seat and the back legs to straighten up and lie flat on the middle layer that serves as the supporting structure of the chair.
The end result is a very flat but long piece that is almost reminiscent of a folder, which is probably where its name comes from. In addition to being easy to carry around, whether by the handle or under your arm, it also makes the Folio Chair easy to store away. You even have a stack of them either lying down or standing up in a closet, depending on how much space you have.
The Folio Chair also has a distinct charm with its leather surfaces and stitch marking at the edges. This calls to mind not only the leather upholstery used on more luxurious furniture but also the leather bindings on some notebooks and organizers. To some extent, it’s a design that wouldn’t look out of place in an office, even though it’s clearly meant for more casual settings.
Despite its unique proposition, the Folio Chair might still raise some concerns regarding its practicality and safety. While it might be flatter than most folding chairs, it is also a lot taller when collapsed, taking up more vertical space instead. Depending on the materials used, it might also seem a little bit unstable, simply relying on physics and folding patterns to make sure the chair doesn’t collapse under a person’s weight.