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Bent Ply
The Art of Plywood Furniture
Dung Ngo , Eric Pfeiffer

ISBN 9781568984056
Publication date 10/1/2003
7.25 x 10 inches (18.4 x 25.4 cm), Plywood With Rounded Corners And Taped Spine
160 pages, 125 color illustrations, 16 b/w illustrations
Rights: World; Carton qty: 10; (-18.18)

This book is Out of Print


Plywood is arguably the most modern design artifact: it is a material born of natural wood and formed by vigorous industrial processes that can assume the most organic of shapes through bending, laminating, and molding. Plywood truly fulfills that most modern of dreams: bridging the gap between technology and nature.

Bent Ply is the first book devoted to plywood in modern design. The book consists of two parts: the first, an illustrated history of plywood (tracing its origins to ancient Egypt, circa 2900 BC); the second, an annotated journal of the making of a piece of bent plywood furniture, from the forest to the showroom.

Bent Ply contains numerous illustrations of the classics of bent ply design, including furniture from Alvar Aalto, Michael Thonet, and Charles and Ray Eames, and examples of its appropriation by the military: John F. Kennedy's PT109 boat and the DeHavilland "Mosquito" were both fabricated from plywood.

Anyone interested in furniture design, woodworking, or materials will be fascinated by Bent Ply.

Dung Ngo is author of American Contemporary Furniture. Eric Pfeiffer is head designer for Offi, a home and home office furniture company specializing in bent plywood.

Editorial Reviews

House & Garden:
"The making of plywood furniture is both an art and a science. This compelling history explains and illuminates both. And there's a nice bonus: a plywood cover."

Architecture Boston:
"The graphic design of the book is wonderful, making playful allusions to the style of technical journals and ads from the 1940s and '50s....With its three-part structure-part history book, part tech manual, part exhibition catalogue-it is broader than it is deep, but as such it is a great book for students of design, a useful studio companion, and an excellent introduction for anyone interested in furniture design..."

"Ngo and Pfeiffer recount the history of molded ply with storytelling flair, and they end up with a compendium of color photos nearly 50 pages long. Best of all, the books cover is made of hardwood."

Best Books, Wallpaper:
"BENT PLY is a gem of a book. While sandwiching the pages between two tactile panels of ply is a sensual, but not strictly necessary ploy, the authors have resisted going all out for glossiness. Instead, you get a solid history of an extraordinary material."

Renovation Style:
"Plywood, the utterly modern material made famous by the likes of Charles and Ray Eames, Michael Thonet, and Alvar Aalto, continues to inspire designers and architects. The development and evolution of plywood furniture is beautifully chronicled in Bent Ply (appropriately sandwiched between plywood covers) by Dung Ngo and Eric Pfeiffer."

"A definitive coverage of the subject -- between laminated-wood covers, no less!"
"...puts a whole new spin on the term 'hardcover.' It's gone well beyond 'coveted' and has become one of my most prized books. "

"I am not sure that there has ever been a time when so many engaging books about the twentieth century decorative arts were coming off the presses. Bent-Ply: The Art of Plywood Furniture by Dung Ngo and Eric Pfeiffer, contains a useful technological history and a good selection of furniture ranging from Aalto and Eames to new designs, including a beautifully severe dining table by Jens Denecke; but what is going to make this volume a must for design-book collectors is the binding, which consists of two sheets of stout, blond plywood, the front one niftily stamped with the titles in black and green."

American Craft:
"With it's plywood covers and rounded corners, BENT PLY is a pleasing object in its own right."

City Magazine:
". . . fulfill[s] the modernist's dream of wedding nature and technology."

"Bent-Ply is a superb history book, and its plywood hardcover and gallery of plywood furniture design make the book a tactile and visual treat."

Pound (CA):
"If you've ever wondered how plywood is bent, shaped, curved or molded to form any of the numerous chairs or tables you've admired, then this is the book where you should begin your search for more knowledge. . . Perfect for any parent, furniture collector or restorer, BENT PLY is tirelessly researched, informative and interesting."

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