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Just one good Flip Chair

24 May – 30 June 2018

The Aram Gallery presented the process behind the design and manufacture of a single furniture piece: Flip Chair by Amsterdam-based designer Jair Straschnow. An array of prototypes, and a short film, described the nine-year evolution of the chair from initial idea to production.


Flip Chair is a dining chair that converts to an easy chair. It was originally shown at the gallery in the 2009 exhibition, Grassworks, as part of Straschnow’s series of self-assembly furniture experiments in bamboo laminates. The multi-purpose collection also included benches, tables, trestles and shelves, that could change, fold, extend or collapse. “Sort of the IKEA flat-pack philosophy, but from a green material and without the dozens of screws/tricky manuals,” the designer describes. The pieces were designed to suit smaller living spaces, as well as being durable and sustainable. It went on to win the furniture category at the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year awards in 2010.


Like the rest of the Grassworks collection, Flip Chair began as a bamboo prototype that was realised quickly through trial and error. Turning into a finished product was a much lengthier process, with many different incarnations from tubular options to full plywood. Each prototype shows a progression in resolving safety issues and making its use more intuitive, while keeping true to the original idea and aesthetic.


The final version is milled out of a single material (European Birch ply) and has a locking mechanism that makes use of the material’s inherent flexibility. It was developed in collaboration with Fiction Factory, who is also producing it.

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