Cousin of "Shell Structures"

Cousin of “Shell Structures”

As a follow-up (or perhaps a prequel) to the recent two-part post on the Pleated Shell Structures project, consider the Gaudi Chair by Dutch designer Bram Geenen.  Its forms were defined using the method developed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, that of hanging chains to find the curves they took under the influence of gravity.  These curves are turned upside down to create arches.

Geenen added a 21st century twist, building upon these shapes using a computer script to help with the design of the backrest, and to provide engineering support.

There is an obvious visual similarity to the curves found for the Gaudi chair and those discovered by the stretched-fabric method employed in the creation of the Pleated Shell Structures.

From Studio Geenen (via

The Gaudi Chair is the follow-up of the Gaudi Stool which was created in 2009. It was designed using the same method as Antoni Gaudi, who made models of hanging chains, which upside-down showed him the strongest shape for his churches. Additionally, to be able to determine the structure of the chair’s backrest, a software script was used.

The script was based on three steps: Firstly the distribution of forces across the surface of the chair. Secondly the direction of forces defined the direction of the ribs. Finally the amount of force specified the height of a rib.

Materials and techniques were chosen to create a lightweight chair. The surface is of carbonfiber, the ribs are made of glass-filled nylon, by selective laser sintering. The project researches how new technoloqy can be based on simple, logical concepts. In this case a concept which has proven it’s strength and beauty for over a hundred years.


(Images via and