TWINS-MDF chairs by yuji tanabe architects

TWINS-MDF, a spin-off from the 2004 work of yuji tanabe architects

Japanese practice Yuji Tanabe Architects just launched a spin-off of its TWINS chair project, developed 18 years ago as two stackable stainless steel seats that fit together like a puzzle. The 2022 version, titled “TWINS-MDF”, takes the original design one step further by using medium-density fibreboard – a composite material made of wood fibers and a synthetic resin adhesive – to create the chairs. “Frame” and “Surface”.

As the name suggests, “Frame” is designed to act as an outline for “Surface”, complementing each other as a solid and a void. In addition, due to the uneven top of the back plate of each chair, it is possible to connect them laterally like a bench.

all images via Yuji Tanabe Architects

a high-efficiency mass/vacuum chair assembly

To make the ‘TWINS-MDF’ set, the crew at Yuji Tanabe Architects extracts the back panel of ‘Surface’ from the inside of ‘Frame’ using EMARF’s Shop Bot (CNC router). The process first required repeated study of fabrication range, drill width, and joint position interference. “It’s like creating a puzzle while finding the greatest common divisors of each”, explain the practice.

Finally, by studying the MDF trim on each chair, Yuji Tanabe Architects achieved a high yield rate of over 70% with remarkably few scraps in the standard Japanese 4×8 board size (1219×2438 mm). The yield rate is the ratio between the sawn timber obtained and the raw timber. The higher the number, the less waste there is.

mdf twins made by shop bot 1‘TWINS-MDF’ chairs produced in two different scales

designboom twins-mdf
‘Surface’ and ‘Frame’ represent mass and void relationship

designboom twins-mdf

using medium density Fireboard (MDF) trim