1949 Taliesin Origami Chair - Dimensions? Sketches? Drawing?

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Matt
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Post by Matt »

I sat in one of these chairs at T-West and found it comfy, but can't really fall in love with the design. Too heavy and over-complicated.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Yes -- I agree with that, and Wright himself acknowledged that one needed help in moving the chair.

Another interested member wrote, "Maybe this chair is a case of the sum of the parts being greater than the whole...the height of the front of the seat off the
ground, the angle of the seat off the ground, the angle of the back to the seat, the angle your arms rest on the armrests, etc, leave your body in such a pose
that it just feels right." That was after experiencing an Origami at T West, too.

SDR

SREcklund
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Post by SREcklund »

Matt wrote:I sat in one of these chairs at T-West and found it comfy, but can't really fall in love with the design. Too heavy and over-complicated.
Interesting ... my response was just the opposite. Comfy as it comes. Admittedly, not an easy chair to move, but if you think of it as a lounge chair, it shouldn't be moving anyway. You _do_ have to get used to getting out of them without tipping forward ...
Docent, Hollyhock House - Hollywood, CA
Humble student of the Master

"Youth is a circumstance you can't do anything about. The trick is to grow up without getting old." - Frank Lloyd Wright

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

I find the origami chairs delightful. But they are rather 'design-intensive,' and as such should be used sparingly. One or two per room would not only be enough, but would mitigate against anything else that might draw attention to itself. The Garden Room at T-West has the origami chairs like thrones before the great fireplace, and a lot of very subordinate pieces that do not compete.

Lillipie81
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Location: New Zealand

Post by Lillipie81 »

I'm so glad I found this forum! Thank you all for your insight it has been very helpful for my study research, especially the drawing plans that have been shared and the link to Cassina's reissued design.

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »


DavidC
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Post by DavidC »


SDR
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Post by SDR »

"Side chairs" "In the manner of Frank Lloyd Wright" "Arts and Crafts"

Made for a person of girth ?

S

David
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Post by David »

Some time ago, I modeled the Taliesin chair following, approximately, the famous Wright drawing that circulates on the internet:

Image

And this is the result:

Image

(You can see a version of this finished model with textures in my images dedicated to the Pauson house)

Recently, I discovered that on Cassina's website it is possible to download a three-dimensional model of the famous chair, so I decided to download it in order to compare it with the one I made:

Image

The "pink" model is that of Cassina, and you can see the two overlapping models here:

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What can be concluded from this?

1.- I have lost many hours of modeling making a chair that does not look much like the original chair :evil:

2.- Wright's drawing is undoubtedly a very embryonic state of his design, which evolved into what we can see today.

David
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Post by David »

Why did Cassina decide to remove the metal supports from Wright's original design? It is a beautiful detail.

Image

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Metal supports ? Some models have had foot caps of metal. The separate projecting front leg was no doubt added, by some, to keep the chair from
tipping forward as a sitter put pressure on the arms, when arising ? Given the weight of the chair, I'm surprised that this was found necessary. Lautner
did without it, in his minimal design for Sturges.

Remember that virtually every maker's version is different, in one way or another, from every other. This applies to Cassina as well; just because
they have a contract with the Foundation doesn't mean they didn't make their own changes.

One obvious one, in comparison to your pink model, is the swept-back leading edge to the arm. And, they came up with their own colorways---not
colors that Mr Wright used, for this chair at least, if ever.

I'm glad you produced your exercise. The world can't have too many versions of the Origami Chair !

S

owenCollins
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Re: 1949 Taliesin Origami Chair - Dimensions? Sketches? Drawing?

Post by owenCollins »

Here is a picture of my playing around with a scale version of the Howe Chair, but made for digital fabrication. Lasercut out of 1/8 ply in this case, but will scale it up for 3/4 plywood on a CNC router at full size.

ImageIMG_4596 by Owen Collins, on Flickr

SDR
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Re: 1949 Taliesin Origami Chair - Dimensions? Sketches? Drawing?

Post by SDR »

Virtually every part of the Origami chair has been subject to variation by the assorted worthies who have taken it on. Howe's version is the only one to dispense with the "tail" or rear foot. I would think that this places it outside of the (admittedly ill-defined) mainstream of Origami interpretations---but that is the privilege of every maker, apparently and I think appropriately. The variety of solutions itself becomes an object of wonder, a living example of joyful freedom of choice in what would normally be the proscribed and restrained art and craft of historic reproduction.

That said, your chair might contain a couple of issues. One is the front inner corner, where the top of the chair side meets the arm. Other versions of the chair, it seems, have avoided the nipped corner of the plane of the arm at this intersection, a slight deficit in my view. Purity (if also variety) of geometric form is a hallmark of Wright's work, which seems at every turn to magically avoid such compromises. Another point is the projection of the seat plane beyond the front edges of the chair sides, this projection being a part of virtually every example of the chair besides your own.

Your digital model avoids both of these problems, in fact.

I am impressed that your equipment was able to produce the running finger joints along what are usually, I think, mitered corners of the chair. Do you intend to make your full-sized chair with this joinery ? If so, that would be another novelty distinguishing your chair---for better or worse---from all others. When plywood, a material composed of thin veneers, is chopped up by complex joinery leaving many short-grain snippets of veneer, some of those little pieces can be expected, sooner or later, to depart, leaving flaws in an otherwise handsome form ?

Though many are using CNC technology to finger-joint plywood today, I think most of them wisely use broader and fewer projections, which admittedly provide less glue area on the cheeks of the pins. Perhaps the technique is intended to provide registration of the joined parts, rather than as a traditional means to a glue-only connection ?

Carry on, and let us see where you go with this project. You have joined the select and quite small group of "Victims of the Origami," as I think they might collectively be called !

S

owenCollins
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Re: 1949 Taliesin Origami Chair - Dimensions? Sketches? Drawing?

Post by owenCollins »

Though many are using CNC technology to finger-joint plywood today, I think most of them wisely use broader and fewer projections, which admittedly provide less glue area on the cheeks of the pins. Perhaps the technique is intended to provide registration of the joined parts, rather than as a traditional means to a glue-only connection ?
My Hope is that the finger joints would provide more glue area to make a secure joint overall. What do you think? Would "broader and fewer projections" make for a stronger joint?

Thanks for any advice.

SDR
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Re: 1949 Taliesin Origami Chair - Dimensions? Sketches? Drawing?

Post by SDR »

No, the more fingers, the more glue area---that's right. But if you have a CNC machine, why not let it cut the miters for you. A simply glued miter in 3/4" plywood has more than enough glue area to make a strong joint, without fasteners or biscuits.



From woodworker extraordinaire Stafford Norris III, we have a chair he made in red oak for a Howe
homeowner. He says he's seen more than one Howe design; this one seems to eliminate even the
vestige of the "tail" that is the extension of the seat panel.

Starfford writes, "The upholstery was done by one of Howe’s original people." What a beautiful chair:
a model of technique and finesse that should guide the would-be Origami mechanic in his pursuit.


Image

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Note in Howe's section drawing a second seat panel was added after the parts schedule was drawn up---and perhaps after he tried the built chair for comfort ? In any event, Howe's version of Wright's chair, eliminating the inessential while retaining the form, demonstrates nicely that Howe was his own man.

Only Lautner's Origami, as seen at the Sturges house, is as spare as Howe's:

Image

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