The V&A turns its eye to a ‘strong and sta­ble’ de­sign

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

for the job, such as when it comes to cre­at­ing curves.”

Ply­wood’s pop­u­lar­ity is such that Adam Ver­gette and Tim Di­a­con re­cently launched Plykea, a kitchen-hack com­pany that makes ply­wood fronts for IKEA’s Me­tod units. “We thought it would be a nice project to have bub­bling along in the back­ground; maybe we’d make two to four sales a month,” says Ver­gette, a fur­ni­ture and prod­uct de­signer. “The re­al­ity is we have been com­pletely over­whelmed with the re­sponse, and the or­ders keep com­ing.” Ver­gette says ply is “an in­fin­itely nicer ma­te­rial to work with than MDF; it has a beau­ti­ful aes­thetic and re­mains af­ford­able com­pared to solid tim­ber.”

Fur­ni­ture de­signer Alex Hel­lum is one of the mak­ers help­ing re­po­si­tion ply as more of a lux­ury ma­te­rial. His Vic­tor ta­ble and Vic chair for Joined+Jointed are made from high­grade birch ply. Both are mod­est and light­weight in ap­pear­ance, and the com­po­nents are de­signed to be cut out of a sin­gle sheet, with min­i­mal wastage. Hel­lum says he de­signed an up­hol­stered seat to the chair to soften the in­dus­trial look, “not just adding a level of com­fort, but to in­tro­duce the idea that ply­wood is OK for that end of the do­mes­tic mar­ket.”

Any­one who vis­its the V&A ex­hi­bi­tion, on un­til Novem­ber 12, will start notic­ing ply­wood’s ubiq­uity – from church hall chairs to the tray you eat your sup­per from.

“Peo­ple seem to have an affin­ity with it,” says Hel­lum. “It’s like a nat­u­ral ma­te­rial, but at the same time it isn’t. It has hon­esty. I could talk about ply­wood for­ever.”

An LCW chair by Vi­tra, made from ply­wood, costs £1,090 from Heals

Peony lamp­shade 330 chair

Leonard side­board Iris pen­dant light

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