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Wednesday
Feb292012

Plywood – Layers of Lumber and Glue

Looked at as a simple material, plywood has made its mark for decades in the areas of furniture design, architecture, and products. There is an exhibition at MOMA called Plywood: Material, Process, Form – this is a must see for anyone interested in this material and design as a whole.

This exhibit covers modern designs and experiments ranging from a Marcel Breuer prefab house model to Eames chair prototypes. These past ideas and production goods have held their own over time while influencing current design and architectural happenings using this material.


From the exhibit >




Non-exhibit  / more ply >

Ply-arch -

A MGS favorite, a house by Uni Architects using plywood both inside and out.



Sim-ply –

We like the refined form of these chairs by Rolu mixed with the raw and natural look of the plywood.




Skate-ply -






Ply Chair / 1988 / Jasper Morrison -



Ply Heavy Hitters >

Some of the design icons pictured below experimented, designed, and carved careers out of plywood goods.


G. Nelson, E. Wormley, E. Saarinen, H. Bertoia, C. Eames, J. Risom


George Nelson –

Tray Table


Ptetzel chair


Edward Wormley –

Ply Tray Table 

Eero Saarinen –

Saarinen and Eames designed this chair for the Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition in 1941 at the MOMA.  There were several versions, all incorporating a molded plywood core. This chair won the competition, which pushed Eames to develop many more designs with plywood.

Harry Bertoia –

He worked with the Eames Office from 1942-45 in helping with the development of plywood ideas, prototypes, and production.



Eames Office – 











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