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  • Writer's pictureNíall Hedderman

Architect Designed Furniture

If there is one object that fascinates designers in general and Architects in particular, its the chair. Its so ubiquitous, an everyday object that anyone can use, you would think there is nothing else to be said about the art of sitting down. Yet some of the most iconic chairs of the last 100 years were designed by Architects; Charles Rennie MacIntosh, Walter Gropius, Mies Van Der Rohe, Eero Saarinen and Eileen Gray, they have all produced original and elegant solutions to the age old question of where to park ones derrière.Despite studying woodwork for five years while at school and working in a joinery while a student, I have never designed or made a chair. So when I was asked by a landscape firm I know to help them produce a contemporary range of garden furniture, I jumped at the chance.I met Lee Kibble of Copperswood Scotland, over a year ago. Copperswood started out as a groundworks and landscape firm but over the years they have been asked to build park benches, bird tables and seats by clients. They decided to invest in a new joinery workshop and make this a part of their business, forming a new company called Kibble Garden Decor Ltd to make and sell garden furniture. One of their main clients is Dobbies, a major chain of UK garden centres.

These are some preliminary 3D studies of the garden chair. There will be two versions, a movable one and a fixed one, set into the ground. The seat is modular, so it can be extended to any length, making it flexible; the same design can be a one-person chair or a three person park bench, just be making it longer. The chairs proportions are based on the golden section, giving it a simple and elegant shape. 

We plan to make the chair from a variety of wood types, both softwood and hardwood. Each chair will be unique and will be made to order, coming with a unique number and certificate. Rather than mass producing the chairs, we will make a set of matching garden furniture which clients can order any time. This will allow people to collect a full set over a period of time, without having to worry about the range no longer being in stock.Things are at an early stage but we hope to be in a position to start selling the furniture before summer 2011.

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