Cardboard Chair Guidelines

Design and build a cardboard chair that will comfortably support an "average" high school student or adult.

  1. Use the design process to
    1. Identify the problem
    2. Develop possible solutions (6 sketches)
    3. Choose a solution
    4. Build a model, or proof of concept made of cardstock. It should be at least 5" tall with a seat at least 2.5" above the ground with a back able to support weight.
    5. Sketch and outline materials needed for the prototype that is big and strong enough to hold a person.

Criteria Your prototype must...

  1. Be made entirely out of cardboard and glue.
  2. Have a seat and a back.
  3. The seat of the chair must be at least 16" from the floor (measured to the bottom of the seat).
  4. The top of the back must be no less than 30" from the floor.
  5. Be portable (able to be carried through doors without falling apart).
  6. Be comfortable to sit in


  1. Number of glue sticks is limited to 8 per group.
  2. No painting or coloring of any kind!
  3. No other fasteners are permitted. (Such as staples, tape, nails, screws or tacks)

Approved Materials

• Cardboard • Glue ( the amount of glue will be limited, plan to create a chair that will support itself with very little glue.)

NOTE: Keep track of and safeguard all materials. Points will be lost if replacement parts are needed.


The strength of any material can be increased or decreased by changing its form

Weak materials can be strengthened through folding, creasing or other modifications

Load distribution is key in identifying areas of potential weakness

Key Terms •

NOTE: Competition Chairs will be evaluated by having other students, administrators and teachers sit in them and vote to determine which design is the most comfortable and "cool"