People’s Industrial Design Office uses little material for Mesh Chair

Criss-crossing wire rods form the back and seat of this stripped-back metal chair, which was designed by Beijing studio People’s Industrial Design Office as an “exercise in efficiency”.

People’s Industrial Design Office, also known as PIDO, designed the minimalist Mesh Chair with a frame that can be manufactured from a single metal rod. This is bent and twisted to form the legs and frame of the seat.

Diagonal strips of wire form the seat and the backrest, with additional support provided by a layer of strips running across in the opposite direction.

But large gaps were left in the hatch pattern, where the support wasn’t necessary, to reduce the amount of material used.

“The Mesh Chair is an exercise in efficiency,” said the studio, which is made up of both architects and designers. “The wire mesh is dense in areas that support the body and open where it doesn’t. In this way we increase comfort without increasing weight.”

The studio experimented with full-scale models to ensure they found the best balance of strength and material efficiency.

“If the chair started deforming, we knew we had to add more material,” they said. “If we sat on it and found more support was required, we knew to add more material. If taking away material did not affect the chair’s function or structure, then we knew that material was not needed.”

The Mesh Chair is available in a variety of colours, including red, green, blue and black, as well as a higher stool version. An accompanying seat pad is available for each chair, comprising diagonal strips that mirror the cross-hatch design.

People’s Industrial Design Office was founded in 2010 by American product designer and architect James Shen, and Chinese architects He Zhe and Zang Feng. The studio has previously designed a mobile farm on wheels, which aims to let the community share responsibility for crops’ wellbeing.

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