2323 Bench

  • Prize
    Honorable Mention in Bench
  • Company/Firm
  • Designer
    Gerard Furbershaw
  • Location
    Palo Alto California USA
  • Project Date
    November 2020

Many perceive plywood as a commodity material used in applications such shear walls in wood frame buildings and for temporarily boarding up broken windows. The designer sought to take on the challenge of creating a high-end piece of plywood furniture that would overcome the stigma of conventionally used plywood. Focusing on plywood’s distinctive laminated plies, the 2323 Bench’s top, bottom and side surfaces emphasize the material’s alternating contrasting layers.

The 2323 is made from seventy-five 4” (100mm) wide maple plywood planks that intersect at its exterior edges. The “legs” and horizontal members consist of alternating shorter and longer parts. The shorter parts extend to a dimension of one plywood thickness from their corresponding mating parts, resulting in the 23 square perforations on each side of the bench, the detail that led to the bench’s 2323 naming.

As a cofounder of Lunar Design (now part of McKinsey Design), I experienced the impact industrial design has in making companies successful and helping society. Now that I’ve entered the second phase of my career, I’m thrilled to have found my calling through the expression of my artistic sensibilities in the pursuit of design art primarily in the furniture domain.