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Hybrid Chair
materials: veneered ply, Jarrah, Vic. Ash, upholstery
dimensions: 500 x 440 x 1020mm
Hybrid Chair was a finalist in both the Commercial and Green Design categories at VIVID at Furnitex in
Melbourne, July 2009.
Dining chair mode
Hybrid chair is a multi-use piece of furniture that can be used as a dining chair, a stool/ottoman or a bench. It consists of 2 components, a base and a back, plus some supplied stainless steel fittings. The back of the chair slides easily into slots in the chair base, and is secured via 2 supplied thumb screws. The back flexes subtly, providing lumbar support in multiple positions. With the back in place, the components are in dining chair mode.
By unscrewing the thumb-screws and removing the back, the chair can now be used as a stool or ottoman.
Stool/Ottoman mode
Removable chair backs

Multiple chair bases can be linked together to form a bench via 2 stainless steel guide pins and a bolt which clamps the bases firmly in place. Any number of bases can be quickly and easily joined in this manner to form a bench of any desired length.

Bases and backs are veneered in contrasting timber colours and depending on personal taste, may either match or alternate in colour. Upholstered cushions can be removed and re-upholstered if they are damaged or if a colour change is wanted.

Bench mode

Use
Hybrid Chair was designed as a multi-use piece of furniture for both domestic and commercial markets. A domestic customer (a family of 4 for example) may purchase a set of 8. For most of the time, the backs may be removed from 4 chairs, leaving 4 dining chairs (and plenty of space) around the dining table for the family and providing 4 stools/ottomans or a bench for other rooms in the dwelling. The backs can then be easily replaced to provide another 4 dining chairs when entertaining guests. Likewise, restaurants and cafes have the option of using the chairs in any one of the three modes depending on how busy they may be at that time and whether they need formal or informal seating.

Design Inspiration
The design of the piece was arrived at by experimenting with the simplest of forms. A bent "U" shape held together by 2 "sticks" proved to be the most simple form of the required seat base proportions, while providing incredible strength and stability. The initial inspiration for this shape came from a marine shackle, which is a high strength fitting used on yachts to secure tensioned rigging from the mast to the boat hull. Like the base of the chair, the rectangular removable back is simple and minimal in form. The geometry of the 2 components is almost childlike and quite playful in its simplicity. Offsetting the angle of the "sticks" and cushion edges brings an element of humour and personality to the chair. This theme is carried further by alternating veneer colours of both the bases and backs and upholstering the cushions, which are intended to look like soft jelly dripping over the ply, in bright colours.

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