Childhood Toy Inspires Award Winning Chair Design, The Aprro Spiro Chair

Aprro Spiro chair

“I don’t believe it. I just don’t believe it. The things you can do with a Spirograph” (the commercial theme song from Kenner’s Spirograph toy in the mid 70s).

APRRO Spiro Chair

spirro chair

Well, apparently Alexander Purcell believes it. Inspired by the Kenner mathematical design toy, Purcell created an indoor outdoor chair of Corian® and stainless steel for APRRO which was just awarded ‘Best Product’ at the California Home and Design awards.

Sketches for the chair:

Spirograph creations:
spirograph drawings guide

The Spiro chair for APRRO:

The original prototype:

Alexander Purcell’s Spiro chair is part of a small line of products he and his company APRRO debuted at the 2009 International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York. The clean-lined chair features a raised, heat-formed pattern on its seat, which adds texture and visual articulation to the simple form. It is also notable for its inventive use of Corian, a material that is more commonly found in kitchen counter tops and soaking tubs.

above: earlier prototype shown

“With Corian, I can customize the design very easily. The manufacturing technology allows for minimal waste and unlimited options as far as design,” says Purcell, who has also been experimenting with milling the material to create decorative voids, as well as laminating it with various colors. There are currently four different patterns for the chair, all of which are inspired by the spirograph, a favorite of artistically inclined children and mathematicians.

kenner spirograph

UPDATE: Since this post the chair has been mass produced, still with Corian and bent stainless steel legs – only the shape has slightly changed to have a higher back.

revised spirro chair

Purcell, who attended architecture school at the University of Cambridge, put a hold on his architecture career in order to travel the globe, throwing parties and dreaming up ad campaigns. But after moving to Santa Monica, he felt the lure of design once again. He has know started his own company called Purcell Living

He enrolled in the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and in 2008 decided to start his own company. The chair is Purcell’s ode to the innovations of design technology and the essence of California living: the indoor-outdoor lifestyle. “It’s a chair that was designed to cross over, to exist in that space between indoors and out,” says Purcell.

The subtly elongated shape may reflect a change of pace for Purcell. “This is certainly not a task chair that belongs behind a desk,” he says. “It is a definitely a place to lounge.”

Purcell Living