Eames Tiki Chair

This is an interesting project. And an odd one. I, along with 5 other designers/studios was approached by Adobe to “hack” an Eames chair, while being filmed in a 48-hour time limit, to promote their creative cloud suite of tools. I told them I wasn’t using CC yet, and that if I did this, I couldn’t imagine doing it digitally, using Adobe software, but that I would do something by hand. They were fine with both of those things, so I agreed. A few weeks later, a videographer, Rory, and his assistant Dabne arrived at my door with the chair in a box. The began filming when I opened the box.


I decided to cover it in strips of wood veneer that I had kicking around. I was really nervous because I had no idea if it was going to work. I chose a contact cement which worked really well for gluing wood to plastic but it was basically a one shot deal—once it was glued it was glued, there was no going back.


I had no sketches for this, I just made it up as I went along.


The filmmakers were on as tight a deadline as I was. Shooting and editing in my kitchen.


I used tracing paper right on the chair to figure out the curved shapes.  As the chair progressed I realized I liked the combination of plastic and wood and decided not to cover it completely. Plus, I was running out of time.


Filling the cracks with wood-filler made such a mess, I thought I’d fucked it up at the last minute.


It cleaned up fine for the final shots, although technically it’s wasn’t finished until I put a couple of coats of varnish on it—about a year later. What I really like was how an unintentional Tiki figure came out. So I call this the Tiki Chair.


So that was 3 people hired on a super tight schedule to fly up from San Francisco to do the filming over 48 hours; they got hours worth of footage which was supposed to be edited down to about 5 minutes. But in the end Adobe put all 6 designers together in one mashup video of 2.5 minutes.


But I got a great chair!