TOPO Chair

  • Prize
    Honorable Mention in Furniture Design
  • Designer
    Zhuofan Ma
  • Other Credit
    Assistant professor Dr. Mania Aghaei Meibodi Director of DART Laboratory
  • Photo Credit
    Zhuofan Ma
  • School
    University of Michigan
  • Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Project Date
  • Web URL

TopoChair speculates on the potential of 3D printing as a tool to create the furniture of the future. It reimagines the classical Eames Molded Chair to address issues of material scarcity, labor shortages, and economic efficiency. By using computational design and topology optimization, designers are able to significantly reduce material usage, resulting in ultra-lightweight chair legs with complex, freeform geometry that are the products of 3D printing. In this project, recyclable 3D-printed aluminum becomes the main material of the legs, while the recycled thermoplastic technopolymer acts as the primary material of the seat and back panels. The interchangeable nature of the pieces and parts helps provide more opportunities for using a variety of recycled materials in assorted colors and textures, making the project open to individual personalization. The TopoChair project showcases not only the potential for sustainability through the use of recycled materials but also the ability of 3D printing to enable personalization and enhance the aesthetics and structural durability of products.