Below is a chair design by architectFrank Gehry.







First, sketch out your design. Take some time in drawing the design. Drawing out your design initiates creativity and saves time.




What will the chair be used for? This does not have to be a chair intended for leisure. Any ideas?




Below is a layout for an orthographic drawing.


Below is an example of a three dimensional drawing (isometric). Isometric drawings are used for labeling measurements.













The Cardboard Chair Project
Corrugated cardboard, made from a natural renewable resource, has one of the best environmental
records. In 2002, more than 23 million tons of corrugated cardboard were recovered and recycled in the US –
that is 74% of all cardboard produced in the same year. Cardboard has the best recycling rate of any packaging
material used today. A hard look at every scrap of cardboard can lead the creative mind to see it as a valuable
raw material. This is your opportunity to discover the potential of corrugated cardboard.

The Challenge:
Design a chair! This activity asks students to design and build a full-sized chair from corrugated cardboard
and adhesive. The person seated will be in a “comfortable” position with his / her back leaning against the back of
the chair. Students will get an opportunity to learn about paper and cardboard as a building material and the
statics and dynamics of structures. This design competition is designed to encourage and reward excellence in
design that integrates function (does the chair work); aesthetics (is it pleasing to the eye); ergonomics (is it
comfortable for the average person); details (are my drawings and actual construction accurate?). The
class and instructor will examine such things as ingenuity, creativity, comfort, strength, appearance and

The Materials:
1. Cardboard: No limit
2. Glue: Do not eat or use in excess

The Design Constraints:

1 . Research and develop a concept. Do you want your design to be purely formal (based on design alone), conceptual, or both?
2. You must take into consideration both form (aesthetic) and function (strength, supports the weight and the idea of intended use). Remember, form follows function.
3 . Compile ideas and make a rough design sketches with approximate measurements. Rough drawings (compilation of all possible ideas) will be included with your final piece.
3a. Drawings of intended solution, including measurements must be provided with the final. Included with your drawings must be orthographic drawings of actual chair : top-view, front-view, and side-view.
4 . The chair must be functional and hold more than 225 lbs.

Grading: Five C’s

-Idea development, preparation (ideas, drawings, designs and notes), and how well understood / executed the project.
-Appearance, Overall aesthetics of the form.
-Presentation, use of media, neatness, construction and assembly: cuts, bends and flats clean and neat? Strength: Does the chair hold your weight? 225 lbs. min?
-Originality, problem solving, uniqueness
-Does the chair seem complete and developed /evolved.






























































Below are examples of other furniture made from cardboard. Consider using elements from the design below.



















Related links:
Frank Gehry (Architect responsible for the creation of this project)

Delaware County

Depending where you live, it may be easier to find cardboard by calling your local grocery store and/or state store (liquor store).
Find out what are good times you can pick up boxes (cardboard). For example, they may put away produce in the morning (that is a good time to pick up cardboard). Remember to explain that you are a student... People like helping students (usually).

Ms. Sue Cordes
Recycling Coordinator
Delaware County SWA
1521 No. Providence Rd.
Rose Tree Park-Hunt Club
Media, PA 19063

610-892-9622 fax
e-mail: Recycledelco[at]


Michael R. McNichol Location:
Rose Tree Park, Hunt Club
1521 N. Providence Road
Media, PA 19063 Phone: