PerhapsLabs is dedicated to the pursuit of experimentation-driven design. Through trial and error, questioning the limits of form, and the willingness to play and explore, to fail and start over, the object takes shape. The story of making something should be as interesting as the object itself.

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So I had family coming to visit, but I had just moved in. I had to fill parts of the house with something (this place is huge compared to my old apartment) but my funds where a bit too low to whip up some actually nice things. This is the best I could do with the time and money I had.

The chair in the foreground was my next version of the Lola chair. I have been wanting to use plywood with a through cut mortise and tenon and finish it with a wedge. No glue, no screws. the first one was a bit too weak, but worked to show I could do it.

The second one was much stronger (by leaps and bounds) but I was still working with the ugliest plywood you ever did see. What I did have was a giant tub of drywall patch. So... this is what it looks like when you use drywall patch as wood filler on plywood that no one should be using for furniture. I finished it with wax and was kinda surprised with the nice smooth feel and overall look using this desperate technique. I still need to rework the back rest and seat but this chair is starting to be quite nice.

The table was just thrown together with the largest bits of wood I had left.

Here you can see the joints. They are crazy strong and I am really pleased with the way they look.

Below is my outdoor deck set. Literally made from what had hit the floor as off cuts from my last two chairs and a board I found in my crawl space.

I was asked to work with a designer from Glow Studio to fabricate these two lovely lights for the I. Martin bike shop in Los Angeles. The parts where all provided by the shop and I only had to make just a few small adjustments from the original design.

Most of the time when one hears rapid prototyping, images of bits and bobs that one can palm with nary any effort at all flood one's mind. Well I don't have a 3D printer that can make anything that I can sit in (on perhaps, but not comfortably).

I had been futzing with the box edit tool in Rhino for far too long and had these chair"ish" blobs that I really wanted to see in full scale. So I put the files into 123D Make and got out my old art projector. After tracing and cutting out the numbered tab and slot patterns, my blob chairs where starting to take shape.

Finally being able to see these full size and get a sense of what it would be like to actual sit in them was a kind of relief. Not everything that looks good in the computer looks so great out here in the real. But it's a lot easier to see and trim the problem areas, or even thicken them where needs be, when you have them sitting in front of you.

After I put one together, I would modify the file. Then the next, and so on. I have a huge pile of boxes so they only cost time to make (about 4-5 hours start to finish not counting exacto cuts). I know that foam is the more traditional material for this kind of thing, but it's expensive and not biodegradable.

The next step will be prepping the surface (old school paper and glue), then some metal glaze. Finally the fiberglass will go on and then I will have my spaceship egg blob chairs (better name on the way, I promise).

One issue I have with using renderings when doing custom work for clients is that if it looks too real they expect the final product to look exactly the same. Too rough they loose faith. Real materials often behave differently than those in renderings. The wood can vary, the finish may have a bit more gloss, or be more matte, the colors can be similar, but not quite the same. Sometimes the method of construction can change from the model to the final product, you don't need screws to hold a 3D render together.
So to counter this I have started to blend the raw sketch up with the rendered file. This gives a hint of real, with a healthy blend of "sketchiness". While there are plenty of times when photo realistic renderings are key in selling a pitch, I find that managing expectations and sending photos of the real thing in process does far more to satisfy most clients than a perfect rendering ever could.

This was a more playful take on the Cord of Wood series. The white sockets seen here have been used in all of the Cord of Wood lamps since the first run seen in one of my earlier posts. I doubt any two are quite the same, as I have never made any measurements, nor do I intend to.

Lola is the latest chair designed by Perhaps Labs and is the result of a long process of trial-and-error. The goal was to create something simple, light-weight, and whimsical. The wood frame is CNC-cut from a 3/4” 15-layer, white, laminated, phenolic ply, which provides both durability and a long-lasting finish. There are 5 cord colors to choose from, and each chair is hand-finished to add detail and ensure quality.

(Text from Image above)
This process has no end. That is really not the point. This is how I sketch. It would certainly be cheaper to do this all with just pen and paper, and to be honest I did use Sketch Up to make the patterns. But the important thing to me is that I continue to play with how this might be. None of these chairs are done. Nor will the next one be.

The hope is that with every iteration I get a bit closer to making something that will be worth all the effort.

Each time the idea gets a bit stronger, a bit more comfortable, more defined. I will come back to this set of experiments over the next few month and resolve some of these to an end point. But this way of working ensures that there will be more to learn from.

This table was designed to allow 8 folks to sit comfortably at one of its eight sides. Ideal for a large space this table measures in at 8ft long, 4ft wide, and 27in high. Made from 1 1/2 inch thick Birch Ply its sturdy enough for all your holiday meals. Finished with natural stain and 3 coats of flat polyurethane sealant. It ships flat and assembles in minutes.

Models are the best way I know to get a sense if a design if worth perusing.

Each of these chairs is a variation on a theme that I have been playing with for a while now. My hope has been to sort out the details so that when I'm finally satisfied with the form I will have something worth producing.

Below is an early version of what I plan on developing as a passive ceramic iPhone amplifier.

I found a random board near the end of a disappointing dumpster dive, and promptly set it aside for 6 months. Then, I had some steel left over from a gig, so I had the idea to make this as a product, a small table that's dimensions are based on the nicest piece of wood I can literally find. I intend to use a thicker stock of rod on the next few (3/4 perhaps) but the length and width will be determined by the best wood I can find to recycle. No two will be alike, and I will just keep making them as long as someone wants one.

I have since revised the design and will be making them more like this in the future
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