Gaijin Chair

Submitted by: JEFF THORNTON

Gaijin Chair
Type: Student
Category: Eat, Play, Sleep
Date: May, 2017

Gaijin Chair

Submitted by: JEFF THORNTON
Contact the designer:


A stylish Japanese inspired dining chair adapted for Western tastes

The Whole Story

I love Japanese food! Always have. I also love the Japanese culture. But, like it or not, I’m not Japanese. So, what to do? I want to seat myself and immerse myself in this wonderful culture but . . . my ageing knees fail me. So, suddenly I get an idea! Can I breach the gap? Can I enjoy the experience without looking as though I am an old man trying to negotiate a bean bag? Yes, I can. Not only can I appear graceful but also can look like a trend setter. Here is my idea . . .

The Gaijin Chair is a cross-over between a traditional Japanese dining chair and the taller Western variety; it allows for the fun of eating, sitting cross-legged, with the ability to maintain one’s dignity when getting up from the table.

The prototype used flexiply, but this design can also be induction moulded from recycled plastic, or shaped using metal or laminated wood. It can be painted or veneered and scaled up for traditional/outdoor/public seating, or scaled down for children.

Just a single sheet of flexiply is all that is needed to make a chair, with no wastage from the sheet. The simplicity of this unique design makes the Gaijin Chair eminently suitable for mass production. The wood used in flexiply comes from sustainable timber and thanks to pressure from the public, alternatives to formaldehyde glues are increasingly being used.

Personally, I think that it’s a sexy looking chair; that beautiful main curve makes an obvious statement. Combined with any number of colours or finishes of your choosing and you will have a conversation piece that will leave your friends green with envy.

Obviously, a dining chair without a table would be somewhat redundant, so rest assured that a modular flexiply version is also available to accompany your chairs.

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