Friday, 29 April 2011

WD16 Furniture

OK, here's a short regurgitated post about my recent line of WD16 furniture models that you can all find on my portfolio. I really want to maintain this blog as a place to show off the new stuff I've made and I feel bad having left out the first proper furniture project of mine, having blogged so much about the design classics of the 20th century. So, without further ado, I present the WD16 range:

The range consists of three pieces - a chair, a table and a small bin from an earlier, discontinued series of model furniture (WD15). All the pieces are modeled in card at no specific scale.

WD15 Bin this small, triangular bin is from an eariler furniture series, WD15. The bin, which would be made out of bent metal sheet, changes the user's conception of a simple metal bin yet still keeps it as a solid, understandable and functional whole shape.

WD16 Table this two-by-one seater, splayed-leg table is intended to be aesthetically lightweight yet be functionally strong, having a very light impact on the ground and in a room, yet being able to take a large weight. The tapering, outwards-pointing legs give the WD15 table a bold, reliable yet not uniform aesthetic. Intended to be made out of a pine tabletop with bentwood legs or bent metal legs, the WD15 table would also being mostly unpainted with a white-painted tabletop.

WD16 Chair this is the centrepiece of the WD16 range, a chair made from one single piece of bent metal. Inspired by the bentwood chair 'Mosquito' by Michael Bihain, I discovered the simplicity and wholeness of a single-piece chair.

The Panton chair showed us that a chair can be made from one piece of plastic, but personally I prefer the feel of a fully metal one-piece chair is better. Your average chair is a mass of unnecessary interactions - between materials, part, fittings, glues - but all this can be removed and the only interaction needed and wanted can be focused on: that between the user and chair. I love the concept of a chair as a whole, something you could throw around or pick up and not fear for the glue joint to come unstuck or for screws to fall out. It's complete of itself and can be therefore considered as one simple, self-sufficient shape amidst a complicated world of overinteraction and overcomplicated design.

Whilst designing the chair, I felt I couldn't create such a space as exists under the seat without having some interaction - it will be cut from sheet metal after all, not cut out of a metal block. So I took the concept one step further and had the chair's fundamental structure interact with itself, hooking round the base of the backrest creating stability without a permanent joint and also create a handle to carry the chair by. To prevent attention being directed immediately at this one interaction, I designed the front three faces as solid shapes and the back two as frame shapes to show the front three as one consistent, bold shape flowing from the floor, through to the seat and to the backrest. This links otherwise distractingly unconnected shapes, diverting attention from the joint.

There, I just wanted to get those photos and descriptions up on the internet somewhere - I had to cut them down somewhat for my portfolio and the stuff about the Panton and Mosquito chairs is integral to the project.


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