Softer Than You’d Think: Seat Cushions Made of Precision-Cut Pine

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How do you make a solid block of wood into a comfortable cushion that adapts its shape to the user? Apply a precision cutting system that adds movement and an unexpected give. The secret to the Nikola cushion by Aviv Shany is a cutting method called Kinetica.

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The cushion itself is made of pine sheets, joined with invisible bars so they look like a single piece. Once assembled, the wooden mass is carved into an ergonomic cushion shape before being sliced vertically and horizontally, encouraging the wood to shift and move under a user’s weight.

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“Kinetic experiments with perception by creating objects that transgress expectations, which surprises people and forces them to cognitively engage with the pieces. Wooden objects are usually associated with qualities such as strength and constancy but Kinetica aims to challenge these preconceptions. The cuts reduce the previously static mass and at the same time transforms it by adding movement and dynamism.”

Classic Windsor Chairs Reimagined in Odd New Shapes

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The Windsor chair is an American classic, still found in homes, businesses and government buildings all over the country over two centuries after it was brought over from England and refined by colonial woodworkers. Traditionally made of Eastern White Pine, it’s one of the most instantly recognizable shapes in traditional furniture. But designer Norman Kelley has turned it on its head – almost literally – with a fun series of seven reinterpretations.

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Using most of the traditional elements from the original design, Kelley created new chairs that keep the function while almost completely changing the form. The Windsor remains recognizable, but comes in new, modernized, off-kilter shapes.

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Some appear to have been assembled upside-down, while others have new parts added, like a side-desk supported by two chair legs, or a drawer under the seat. The chairs have been put together in totally unexpected ways, fitting together oddly, but all are solidly constructed and still bear those comfy saddle-shaped Eastern White Pine seats.

See the whole series at the designer’s website.