BESPOKE CHAIR 2017-01-22T03:15:59+00:00

Project Description

Bespoke Chair

A personalized studio stool for Derek Yeung.


The User

Derek Yeung, an Industrial Design student at Georgia Tech, spends many hours sitting on a tall stool working on his computer, sketching by hand, and building design projects. After a few hours, his back begins to hurt and he needs to stretch.

The Problem

Derek’s original studio stool (above) did not have cushioning or a back support and was uncomfortable to sit on for long periods of time.

The Solution

A customized, cushioned studio stool that supports Derek’s back without restricting his range of motion.


Design Objectives:

  • Design & build a custom chair to specifically form to another person’s body, needs, & wants
  • Improve original studio stool that is uncomfortable to sit on for long periods of time

User Preferences:

  • Retain current stool and footrest height
  • Make chair comfortable to sit on for long periods of time
  • Include back support
After studying Derek’s sitting, sketching, and socializing habits, multiple quick concepts were developed. Ideas focus around a cushioned seat and a supportive backrest.
Noticing that Derek liked to turn sideways in his chair to socialize with friends, I realized that the backrest would prevent Derek from turning. To provide back support and allow Derek to turn freely, I chose to add a lazy Susan turntable in the base of the seat.
Derek liked the idea of a rotating chair and I began building the prototype.

Building & Assembly

To build the complex curvature of the backrest, 1/8″ sheets of flexible plywood were laminated together using an existing chair as a mold. The lazy Susan turntable was installed in the base of the chair to allow uninhibited movement.

User Interaction

Final chair in use:
  • Great to sit on while sketching and using the computer
  • Comfortable seat and footrest support the body
  • Excellent back support allows user to lean back and stretch
  • Lazy Susan turntable in base of seat provides full rotation movement


This chair was published in PlyDesign: 73 Distinctive DIY Projects in Plywood (and Other Sheet Goods) by Philip Schmidt in 2012 and was used as one of the main marketing images.
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