Celebrating plywood

July 20, 2017 · 0 Comments

Alvar Aalto's Paimio chair, on display at the V&A's plywood exhibitionCurrently showing at the V&A, ‘Plywood: Material of the Modern World’ celebrates the incredibly diverse applications of an often overlooked material.

The exhibition explores how plywood has been used to design and construct objects large and small, from architecture and aeroplanes to skateboards and sewing machine covers.

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Unsurprisingly, the use of plywood in furniture design forms a significant portion of the show.

An enviable array of chairs, tables and stools are on display, from icons of twentieth-century design to lesser-known but no less fascinating pieces.

Objects from the exhibtion 'Plywood: Material of the Modern World' at the V&A

Inspired by the show, we have compiled our own tribute to plywood, selecting our favourite designs formed using this remarkable material.

Ranging in scale from furniture to homewares, twentytwentyone’s pick of plywood pieces includes modernist icons such as the Paimio chair by Alvar Aalto and Marcel Breuer‘s Short chair (both of which appear in the V&A exhibition)…

Alvar Aalto, Paimio chairMarcel Breuer, Short chair… to mid-century classics by Charles and Ray Eames and Norman Cherner.

LCW calfskin chair by Charles and Ray EamesCherner armchair by Norman ChernerContemporary designers including Jasper Morrison and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec continue to explore the potential of plywood…

Hal ply tube chair by Jasper Morrison for VitraBelleville chair by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra… and we couldn’t neglect designs at a slightly smaller scale, such as the Tricorne tray by Robin Day.

Tricorne tray by Robin Day‘Plywood: Material of the Modern World’ is on at the V&A until November, but you can enjoy our own plywood edit from the comfort of your own home.


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