Last year, we became enamored with the Cartesian Chair we spotted during NYCxDesign week. Designer Alexander Purcell Rodrigues worked with aluminum manufacturer Neal Feay to achieve new, cutting edge aluminum fabrication techniques along with generative CAD modeling tools to push the “structural limits and precision machinability” of aluminum. The results are a chair with a sleek silhouette that’s truly a work of art. Each chair is made from aircraft-grade aluminum with an ombre anodized finish or with solid wood legs. While the chair looks like it’s been milled from a solid block, they’re actually fabricated from small stock which keeps waste to an absolute minimum. Take a closer look to see how this exquisite chair is made in this month’s Deconstruction.

Decon-Cartesian-Chair-APR-2-sketches

Initial sketches.

Decon-Cartesian-Chair-APR-3-prototype

First sit prototype.

Decon-Cartesian-Chair-APR-4-grasshopper

Grasshopper chain created to turn mathematical equations into the patterns that will be mapped to the backrest and leg surfaces, thereby creating machinable ornamentation.

Decon-Cartesian-Chair-APR-5-ornementation

Ornamentation ideation created by numerous algorithms.

Decon-Cartesian-Chair-APR-6-tests

Early pattern and anodize test samples.

Decon-Cartesian-Chair-APR-7

Ornamentation mapped to the backrest surface. Backrest seen here located on the jig to allow for accurate locating within three diminutional space.

Decon-Cartesian-Chair-APR-8-pattern-testing

Computer generated pattern testing.

Decon-Cartesian-Chair-APR-9-tests

Full size back and leg interface samples to ensure pattern is mapping accurately.

Decon-Cartesian-Chair-APR-10-milling-legs

Legs being milled.

Decon-Cartesian-Chair-APR-11-brushing

Brushing process achieved with a steady hand.

Decon-Cartesian-Chair-APR-12-forming-backrest

Forming of the backrest.

Decon-Cartesian-Chair-APR-13-jig

Backrest aligned on jig entering the 4 axis mill.

Decon-Cartesian-Chair-APR-14

Ornamented backrest ready for finishing.

Decon-Cartesian-Chair-APR-15-annodizing

Early stages in the anodizing procedure. A 6-step process through 12 different tanks.

Decon-Cartesian-Chair-APR-16-flatpack

Chair in its flat-packable form for a lower cost greener distribution foot print.

Decon-Cartesian-Chair-APR-17-finished

Three of the finished versions: Ornamented and upholstered with ombre anodize finish / Pure aluminum version with ombre anodize / White oak with natural anodize.

Cartesian-Chair-1-Red

Cartesian-Chair-2-gold

Cartesian-Chair-3-olive