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Innovative Techniques
for Curved Plywood Moulding

2006 ¦ Plywood writing and drawing board Undergraduate Thesis in Industrial Design at “La Sapienza” University of Rome Supervisors: Carlo Martino, Felice Ragazzo

The production district of Brianza, specialized in wood manufacturing, is widely known for its long tradition, its excellent quality standards and its unique socio-cultural context. My undergraduate thesis project in Industrial Design is the result of a three-months internship at one of Brianza’s most important firms, the Pozzi Curvati, which since the mid ’50s operates in the field of curved plywood modeling. During my internship I had the chance to deal with an actual production process since the object I designed – Klee, a multipurpose writing and drawing board – has been eventually produced by Pozzi Curvati through its own technologic resources.

As a mark of its long lasting activity, Pozzi Curvati owns a considerable collection of plywood modeling moulds, which caught my interest since the very beginning of the internship. In particular, an old three-pieces hinged mould has been fundamental to the development of my thesis project, as the piece it was designed for presented the same kind of production issues than the one I was then designing.

In 2007, I participated to the international design contest The Significant Furniture: a Piece of Furniture for Reading Places fostered by Fondazione Aldo Morelato with an adaptation of my thesis project, winning the 3rd prize.

Klee, the result of my internship at Pozzi Curvati, is an object which can be used in different ways according to the position in which it is set: vertically oriented it works as an easel, with a wide inclined plane where sheets and canvases can be placed

Rotating and setting Klee in horizontal sense it switches its function to that of writing and drawing desk

Stratified plywood sheets

Some of the plywood printing moulds owned by Pozzi Curvati

The mould I surveyed during my internship, whose hinged mechanism helped me to solve many of Klee's production issues

Fabrication of the mould for producing Klee: several wooden block are cutted through CNC machineries along the profiles of the three pieces from which the mould will be formed

Once obtained the right number of sections, they have been stucked and glued together to form three separate big blocks

Once the mould was solified, the production cycle of Klee has developed according to the standard process for curving plywood: the material has been prepared stratifying wooden sheets and sticking them together; then it has been inserted into the mould and put under the press

Because of its extremely curved profile, Klee had to be pressed for more than fifteen hours; after the extraction, easily allowed by the hinged mechanism of the mould, the piece has been finished and cutted according to its actual dimensions

In 2007 I won the 3rd price of the design contest The Significant Furniture: a Piece of Furniture for Reading Places revisiting Klee and adapting it as a reading tool.

Bookworm preserves most of Klee's properties and functionalities, such as the twisting profile, the double orientability and the six handle-holes. Yet, to properly adapt to reading gestures and activities, its height and thickness have been reduced and its supporting surface widened.