brazilian architect paulo kobylka shares his latest design collection, called ‘gusset’, which explores the use of structural timber elements that are common in construction as a way of making sturdier wooden furniture. kobylka sought proposals that could maximize the resistance of wood while minimizing its weaknesses.
orange and pink PK15 three-seat sofa
wood has always been used for structural purposes and is common across all phases of construction. in addition to pillars, beams and roofs, wood is also used to shape, as frames, coverings and furniture. one of the first problems that happen with wooden furniture, mainly chairs, is fitting the pieces. usually, the joints between legs and seat are the most susceptible to breakage or disengagement over the years. aiming to tackle this issue, paulo kobylka sought a solution in structural engineering, or in the construction design of wooden trusses, to be more specific.
sofa sockets refer to the ‘gusset plate’ normally applied to reinforce the knots of wooden trusses
a truss is a structure formed by triangular shapes composed of straight elements with ends connected by points named knots. to lock the knots of a wooden truss, the fitting ends can either be tightened by screws, or reinforced by a gusset plate, which is a metallic plate where the wood pieces are screwed in order to make the whole set more rigid. for this new collection, paulo kobylka explored a reinterpretation of the gusset plate applied to furniture design. the turned wooden legs are fitted into the tubular profiles and screwed to them. this way, the joints between the backrest, seat, and legs are more resistant. the union of the metallic structure with solid pieces of wood results in a strong and robust collection.
red PK13 armchair
the collection comprises includes a chair (PK12), armchair (PK13), double chair (PK14) and sofa (PK15). every piece is handcrafted and produced by local workers. the metallic structure is made of carbon steel and receives automotive paint. the solid turned wood pieces are made of jequitibá, a tree native to the brazilian atlantic forest. in addition to the natural-looking finish of the wood with matte polyurethane varnish, there is the ebonized version and upholstered options.
turned wood legs fit tightly into the tubular profile
orange PK12 chair
PK12 chair detail
the pieces vary in wood finishing, color of polyurethane paint, and seats may be of wood or upholstery
PK15 sofa can be three, two or single seat
white and green PK14 double chair
brown PK14 double chair
red PK13 armchair
back legs are entire wood units
name: gusset collection
design: paulo kobylka
edited by: lynne myers | designboom