Most people dream of having eye-catching furniture, but not everyone has the space for elegant yet large tables or distinctive yet bulky seats. Space becomes an even bigger issue if you have guests from time to time, but not often enough to justify buying permanent chairs in your already crowded home. Folding tables and chairs have become solutions to this dynamic space problem, but most of them sacrifice aesthetics for flexibility. Of course, there are some exceptions, especially within the realm of speculative or conceptual design, where form and function are treated with equal dignity. This folding chair, for example, clearly has a utilitarian build, but still manages to add a few design elements that give it the same stylistic character as leather-covered furniture and stationery.
Designer: Jeongwoo SEO
Traditional folding chair designs come in wooden or metal forms, with hinges and pivots that allow parts of the choir, usually the seat, to be folded up or down to create a more compact shape. Although it is a practical and simple design, it is definitely not the only way to fold a chair. Given certain factors, it may 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 be inspired by paper and art like origami, where simply pushing or pulling on a single part can change the shape of the object. In this case, pulling the top of the chair up causes the creases in the seat and rear legs to straighten out and lie flat on the middle layer that serves as the chair’s support structure.
The final result is a very flat but elongated piece that almost resembles a folder, probably hence its name. As well as being easy to transport, either by the handle or under the arm, it also makes the Folio easy to store. You even have a stack of them lying or standing up in a closet, depending on how much space you have.
The Folio chair also has a distinctive charm with its leather surfaces and edge stitching. This is reminiscent not only of the leather upholstery used on more luxurious furniture, but also of 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, 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 may be flatter than most folding chairs, it’s also much taller when folded, so it takes up more vertical space. Depending on the materials used, it can also appear a bit unstable, simply relying on physics and folding patterns to make sure the chair doesn’t collapse under the weight of a person.