Donald Chair by Philipp Hermes & Dustin Jessen


Philipp Hermes & Dustin Jessen


Philipp Hermes & Dustin Jessen




Becker Brakel – Germany

The chair Donald was developed in 2011 in the context of a graduation project at Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen and in close collaboration with the plywood manufacturer Becker Brakel. It is the result of an iterative design process with a strong focus on the needs of the user. As much as it has been a technical study of what is possible with industrial plywood production it was also an investigation in the culture of sitting.

Understanding that the chair is essentially an extension of the body that allows our body to rest for the mind to walk around, we focused a lot on the questions of comfort and flexibility of use. In the end these questions resulted in two mutually reinforcing plywood elements that are connected by the use of industrial velcro. The two plywood elements form a constructive and formal unit ans allow a three dimensionally shaped seat shell without the use of 3D veneer.

The unusual connection reduces assembly costs, offers easy disassembly and a strong construction. The coloring of the elements can either underline or reduce the visual duality of the chair. As we see a chair most of the time from its back – standing at a table –, this view got special attention in the design process. Donald is stackable and entirely made from plywood. It can be used both in the domestic environment as well as the contract furniture world.

THE TREE MAG – The Fruits of Ideas