Pleated aluminium forms chair designed by ÉCAL student Ilseop Yoon
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Pleated aluminium forms chair designed by ÉCAL student Ilseop Yoon

ÉCAL student Ilseop Yoon used a sheet of moulded aluminium to create the pleated seat and backrest of this chair.

Yoon, a student on the Master Product Design course at the Swiss school, looked to both architecture and fashion when developing the design for his Pleats Chair.

Ilseop Yoon creates pleated chairs from sheets of aluminium

He likens the pleated form to corrugated roofing panels. But he also took inspiration from the "strong structure and beautiful aesthetic" of the famous pleated garments of Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake.

"Corrugated structure is widely used in architecture and fashion in terms of the strong structure and the beautiful aesthetics," said the designer, who originates from South Korea. "The Pleats Chair highlights both aspects."

Ilseop Yoon creates pleated chairs from sheets of aluminium

The chair is made from a single sheet of aluminium, chosen because it is both rigid and lightweight.

Yoon created the pleats using a custom-made wooden mould, with one part embossed and one part debossed.

He created a digital 3D model of the chair to calculate the shape and size of the seat, then produced a mould from a CNC machine. This was used to shape the pleated aluminium and create the body of the chair.

Ilseop Yoon creates pleated chairs from sheets of aluminium

Yoon sees the process as similar to the way that fabrics are pleated in fashion manufacturing, through the used of applied pressure.

The thin shell of the body can stay rigid to sit on, while maintaining a delicate aesthetic," said Yoon.

Ilseop Yoon creates pleated chairs from sheets of aluminium

According to the designer, another of the chair's impressive qualities is its potential for recycling. He claims that just five per cent of the energy needed to produce new aluminium is required to recycle this product, and this process is also considerably cheaper.

The chair has four legs, which follow the proportions of the aluminium pleats.

Ilseop Yoon creates pleated chairs from sheets of aluminium

Yoon has made just one prototype of his Pleats Chair, which is powder-coated in a vibrant yellow ochre shade. But the designer would like to also produce it in shades of green, red and blue.

Located in Lausanne, ÉCAL is Switzerland's most prestigious design school. Past student projects from the school include a collection of blown-glass cocktail tools and edible robotics.

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Ilseop Yoon creates pleated chairs from sheets of aluminium
Ilseop Yoon creates pleated chairs from sheets of aluminium
Ilseop Yoon creates pleated chairs from sheets of aluminium
Ilseop Yoon creates pleated chairs from sheets of aluminium
Ilseop Yoon creates pleated chairs from sheets of aluminium
Ilseop Yoon creates pleated chairs from sheets of aluminium
Ilseop Yoon creates pleated chairs from sheets of aluminium
Ilseop Yoon creates pleated chairs from sheets of aluminium
Ilseop Yoon creates pleated chairs from sheets of aluminium
Ilseop Yoon creates pleated chairs from sheets of aluminium