Key Stages 2, 3 and 4+ Free Activity

Lesson Plan: Make Your Own Wiggle Side Chair

In the early 1970s Frank Gehry was a young architect with an adventurous approach to design. As an architect, Gehry has created innovative architecture including Museums and buildings for Disney but in the 1970s he also created a line of cardboard furniture known as ‘Easy Edges’.

Cardboard was a familiar material to Gehry who used it for making architectural models. Using a jigsaw and some corrugated cardboard he set out to make furniture ranging from a sofa and armchair to a desk and chair. The most famous piece of Frank Gehry’s furniture was the Wiggle Side Chair; an elegant but strange chair that took its name from its shape.

Soon Gehry was known for his successful range of cardboard furniture that sold for high prices. His aim was to take an everyday material that we take for granted and make it a desirable material used in high-end design.

Eventually Gehry decided to stop manufacturing Easy Edges furniture because it took him away from his first love; architecture.

Watch the Design Museum film about the Wiggle Chair and learn more about this strange, unconventional design.

Things to do

Look at the chairs around your home. What do you notice about each chair? Are they for relaxing? Eating at a table or even working at a desk? What materials are they made of? Are some chairs more comfortable than others?

Find some cardboard around your house. Preferably this would be corrugated cardboard; the stuff with the wiggly bits in the middle. This can be a delivery box, a take-away box or even some packaging. Make sure that no one is using it before you take it. Use the template in the activity sheet and trace it on a phone or tablet.

Share your model with the Design Museum on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #DesignFromHome.

To read

The Memphis Group

Furniture can often be quite functional and made to do a particular task. In 1981 a group of designers decided to throw all of the rules out of the window. Read more about the Memphis movement here and see their weird and wonderful designs;

Young Design Museum

Young Design Museum

See what other activities are available for young people as part of the museum's Digital Design Calendar.