The Aeroformed Chair is a futuristic design that showcases the innovative manufacturing process I call ‘Aeroforming’. Air is injected between two welded metal sheets, which forces them apart as the pressure builds, resulting in inflated objects that resemble metal balloons.
Using compressed air for this purpose is cleaner and more precise compared to using water, known as the Hydroforming process. I first experimented with this at university, creating my steel ‘Lilo Bench’ that closely mimics an inflatable air mattress.
Inflating metal enables the creation of complex three-dimensional forms, which would be too expensive or time consuming to reproduce using conventional methods. The resulting objects are extremely strong for their weight and can support very heavy loads, even when the metal before inflation is only as thick as a 2p coin.
For this new design, I wanted to show that minimal inflation still provides considerable structural strength, while maintaining a sleek appearance without buckles or dents. By carefully limiting airflow into the piece, key structural areas inflate to the required thickness, but the back supports are left with an attractive taper that shows how thin the steel is before inflation.
The steel and plywood components of the chair are very durable and easily repaired, but could also be completely recycled at the end of the product’s usable life in the distant future.