The first thing to charm our socks off at the ICFF this morning: The Emergency Chair from Houston-based designer D.E. Sellers. We've seen plenty of laser-cut or CNC-routered plywood furniture over the years, and D.E.'s website shows a certain obsession with the form, but this particular implentation has a few new things going for it. The built-in handle, for example, that allows the un-constructed sheet to be easily toted is cool, as are the laser-etched graphics of assembly instructions and "emergency" icons like an ambulance and a Band-Aid.
What we really love, though, is the story: the idea that an emergency of some sort might arise, and this chair could come to the rescue in the nick of time, through rapid transformation into essential seating. Yes it's absurd, but it focuses the design in some wonderful ways. It means the cuts are perforated, so that the sheet holds its form until snapped apart by hand (the attachments are quite thin, so this is feasible), and the completed chair is an endearingly clunky, assymetrical hodgepodge, with obvious cutouts where pieces once fit together in the plywood sheet. Not pretty, but we're not sure everything has to be.