Do all architects think they should design a chair?Isn’t a new design for a chair just like a new design for a wheel, in a world of wheels – ultimately pointless? Like Frank Lloyd Wright (a classic example of the type), I disagree: I too am driven by a desire to design everything. I think the urge provides proof that architecture is more than just a profession:it’s a lens on life.
In designing my own chair, I consciously stuck to my principles of instinctive design. I attempted not to draw anything before I had a rough frame welded together. The chair developed its identity fairly quickly from there: the steel frame was crying out to support a tensioned fabric. I developed a canvas interior to fit, and then turned to the challenge of how to marry it to the steel frame, making use of sewing skills I’d forgotten since primary school.
Despite the chair’s instinctive design and buildprocess, when I look at it now, I can see some fairly direct architectural referencesin it: not only in terms of the form but alsothe structure. Maybe we really are what we eat, and it is foolish to believethat in our designs we are able to avoid our impressions of all the things wehave seen in the past.