Frank Gehry

When Frank Gehry’s architectural office ordered 125 of Emeco's Hudson rolling office chairs, our owner Gregg Buchbinder decided it would be smart to show up himself at the delivery. When Gregg asked Frank Gehry why he selected the Emeco Hudson chair, Frank answered, “Hot glue guns, and x-acto knives!” His point was his people destroyed chairs and Gehry needed a chair that was up to the challenge.

Gregg and Gehry began to discuss creating a new chair, and Gehry came up with a design that included a frame and a “skin” that fit onto the frame, and moved when the user sat in it.

"I wanted three things in the chair: comfort, light weight, and strength. Aluminum was the obvious choice and Emeco was the only company that could make it. Gio Ponti’s Superleggera chair was the inspiration – and I’ve always wanted to design a super lightweight chair. I tried to extract the essence – structure and skin, where engineering and design are one thing. "Superlight" is a chair that moves to accommodate all body types- the sitter activates the chair." - Frank Gehry

Production of the Superlight chair is currently on hold.

"I wanted three things in the chair: comfort, light weight, and strength. Aluminum was the obvious choice and Emeco was the only company that could make it.“
- Frank Gehry

“The form has to be free and light. It must be structural and at the same time poetic. And a little dangerous.” - Frank Gehry

What started as a sketching of ideas became a conceptual project for Emeco and Frank Gehry, resulting in the Tuyomyo Bench - a one-off piece, created to be auctioned with proceeds going to the Hereditary Disease Foundation (HDF). Frank and Berta Gehry were founding trustees of HDF in 1968 and are deeply committed to its mission – to cure brain diseases. Proceeds from the sale of the Tuyomyo bench benefited a research fund established in 2008 in honor of Frank’s late daughter - The Leslie Gehry Brenner Award for Innovation in Science.

Using 80% recycled aluminum and aircraft manufacturing technology, as well as handcraftsmanship, the Tuyomyo bench is a testament to Gehry’s intuitive design vision and Emeco’s expertise in crafting aluminum. “We didn’t start with the intention of making a product – we wanted to explore the possibility of using huge pieces of aluminum to make a large scale project. Once we really got into it, we found we were onto something amazing. Combining CNC equipment with traditional handcraft, we were able to make a three meter long wing of polished aluminum. The trouble was making the wing strong enough to cantilever over the truss and remain stable. That’s when we found an aircraft part manufacturer with huge solution tempering furnaces that made it super strong. But it took many trials and failures to get it right. Each time the result was unpredictable - like Raku ceramic firing- the aluminum took its own, unique organic form. When we saw the final bench though, we knew we had fulfilled Frank’s directive." - Gregg Buchbinder, Emeco

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