Ida: A Sustainable DIY Chair for the Modern Home

Empowering Individuals to Create Sustainable Furniture

Ida is a do-it-yourself chair inspired by the overwhelming need for alternatives to the traditional mass-production model, like sustainable personal fabrication. The chair integrates the precision of digital fabrication technologies with the finest environmental-friendly materials and craftsmanship. It is designed to empower people and organizations to use sustainable materials and emerging technology to participate in the widespread implementation of sustainable production and consumption.

Ida, designed by Jairo da Costa, is the first in a series of DIY circular furniture. What sets Ida apart is its simplicity, durability, and use of a single sustainably sourced material. Made of certified bamboo ply or hardwood plywood with a natural oil finish, this chair can be customized online, ordered ready-to-assemble, or locally made by anyone using a web-based platform and digital fabrication technologies. With only eight parts assembled in seven easy steps, Ida eliminates the need for nails, screws, or glue.

Users can fabricate the chair using optimized digital files and equipment commonly available in makerspaces or at home, such as a hand-held or small-size 3-axis CNC router. The use of materials like certified bamboo ply and circular design principles demonstrates special attention to sustainability. The surfaces are treated with non-toxic natural oil, and some options use HPL Laminated to increase durability. The design adopts parametric modeling and algorithms-aided design to facilitate the digital model analysis, modification, and optimization, ensuring greater material efficiency, modularity, and adaptability to different CNC machines and local context requirements.

With dimensions of 750mm in height, 410mm in width, and 550mm in depth, Ida is designed to fit seamlessly into any modern home or office space. Its sleek and timeless aesthetic, combined with its ergonomic design, ensures both comfort and style.

A web-based platform accompanies Ida, providing users with assistive and enabling tools such as 3D configurators, augmented reality, and interactive manuals. This platform allows users to customize the chair to fit their personal or home style and easily download the necessary digital files. Alternatively, the chair can be ordered online and shipped flat pack, ready to be assembled in a few easy steps by its new owner, without the need for glue, nails, or screws. Interactive online manuals assist users in repairing, replacing parts, and upcycling the product, promoting a sustainable approach to furniture ownership.

The Ida project started in April 2020 in Itajaí, Brazil, with prototyping completed in June 2022 and a web-based platform currently in development. Extensive research and development went into creating a chair that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also environmentally conscious and accessible to a wide range of users.

Recognizing the potential of the DIY market to provide more sustainable living standards through digital fabrication technologies and sustainable production practices, Jairo da Costa overcame the challenge of limited implementation of DIY furniture, particularly in developing and emerging markets. Ida chair is optimized for small 3-axis CNC routers, the most common model available in makerspaces worldwide. It responds to the growing demand for solutions that prevent negative environmental impacts of personal fabrication, allowing for responsible prosumption.

Ida embodies a unique design through an elegant and timeless aesthetic, focusing on simplicity, ergonomics, materials, and modern craftsmanship. It showcases how prosumer products like Do-It-Yourself furniture can be intelligent, sophisticated, functional, and, most importantly, sustainable. With its sustainable sourcing, easy assembly, and customizable options, Ida is a chair that not only enhances the beauty of any space but also contributes to a more sustainable future.

Image Credits: Jairo da Costa

Intellectual Property Notice: Copyrights belong to Jairo da Costa Junior, 2020-2022.

Awards and Accolades: Ida was awarded the Bronze A' Design Award in the Furniture Design category in 2023. This prestigious award recognizes designs that exhibit strong technical and creative skills, contributing to quality of life improvements and making the world a better place.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: Jairo da Costa Junior
Image Credits: Jairo da Costa
Project Team Members: Jairo da Costa
Project Name: Ida
Project Client: Jairo da Costa Junior

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