Most people dream of owning eye-catching furniture, but not everyone has room for chic but large tables or distinctive but voluminous seating. Space becomes even more of an issue when you entertain guests occasionally, but not often enough to justify purchasing permanent chairs in your already cramped living quarters. Folding tables and chairs have become solutions to this dynamic space problem, but most of them sacrifice aesthetics in exchange for flexibility. Of course there are some exceptions, particularly in the realm of speculative or concept design, where form and function are treated with equal dignity. This folding chair, for example, clearly has a purposeful construction, but still manages to incorporate some design elements that give it the same stylish characteristics as leather-covered furniture and stationery.
Designer: Jeongwoo SEO
Traditional folding chair designs come in wood or metal 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. While it’s a practical and simple design, it’s definitely not the only way to fold a chair. Given certain factors, this 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 paper crafts and arts like origami, where simply pushing or pulling a single part can change the shape of the object. In this case, raising the top of the chair causes the folds of the seat and rear legs to straighten and lie flat on the middle layer, which serves as the chair’s supporting structure.
The end result is a very flat but long piece, almost reminiscent of a portfolio, hence the name. The Folio Chair is not only easy to transport, whether by the handle or under the arm, but also easy to stow away. You even keep 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 special charm with its leather surfaces and stitch markings on the edges. This is not only reminiscent of the leather covers of more luxurious furniture, but also of the leather covers of some notebooks and organizers. To a certain extent, it’s a design that wouldn’t look out of place in an office, although it’s clearly intended for more casual settings.
Despite its unique offering, the Folio Chair might still raise some concerns about its practicality and safety. While it’s flatter than most folding chairs, it’s also much taller when folded, taking up more vertical space instead. Depending on the materials used, it can also seem a little unstable as it simply relies on physics and folding patterns to ensure the chair doesn’t collapse under a person’s weight.