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Less Than Five, 2014

Michael Young for Coalesse

The LessThanFive Chair, composed entirely of carbon fibre. Carbon fibre is one of the strongest and lightest materials available in today’s world of engineering and design – thus implemented in the production of sports equipment, motor cars, aviation, nautical and now furniture.


It weighs less than 2.3kg (5lb) and can support 136kg (300lb). The unique material allows for an array of colours and bespoke surface applications. The LessThanFive Chair combines materiality with technology to express its structural form and 21st century craft.

Watch the Making of a chair video below:

John Hamilton, Director of Global Design at Coalesse, describes the LessThanFive Chair project: “When we started the process, we decided that we didn’t just want to make a carbon fibre chair and we didn’t want to make a gallery piece— we wanted to make a real, industrialized solution. We wanted to explore the boundaries of using cutting edge technology and materials to redefine craft in the new age of global manufacturing.

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Above: CNC Foam Comfort model.

“Our design and engineering came together to express something very efficient, optimized, and smart – through an amazing new material and process. Working with world class design talent and the world’s best carbon fibre craftsmen, we created a solution of lasting value that completely changes how you think about this type of chair.”


FEA studies of various carbon wall thicknesses at various parts of the chair.

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Seat Tool


Carbon Layup


Hand Finishing

Michael Young adds: “After working with Giant in Taiwan and making friends with members of the local design community, I was introduced to a sophisticated carbon fibre factory specializing in the manufacture of sports bikes. I decided to try and harness this production capacity and create a chair that was suitable for the consumer market. This chair was not designed with any other material than carbon in mind and it could not be made in wood or plastic. In fact the craftsmanship is more akin to the boutique production of a fine cabinet maker project that Carl Hansen might engage in, which involves many hand-hours to create highly polished surfaces.”

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High Gloss Polish

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Stacked Colours

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Coalesse launched an updated app and now it is live on their website – https://customizer.coalesse.com/ – this is now web based so that anyone can do it, it also had the ability to add graphics to a chair and so we used that capability to demonstrate how the chair could be even more bespoke. The vision was to reference the art of tattooing and how that might play out on the chairs.