'A' Back Windsor
Traditional Windsor, Fine Woodworking and Contemorary Design
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Solid hardwood, traditional joinery and contemporary machinery update the fine Windsor Chair. The front legs pass through the seat to become the king post and the back legs reach to the crest. With triangulation this design realigns the forces of compression and tension to maximum visual complexity with physical strength and comfort. Milk paint or clear oil finish with wax maintain the sustainable tradition of Windsor Chairs.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
Light and strong, this solid wood chair has an upright feel suitable for dining, task or occasional seating. The ambiguous play of form and structure in a traditional chair language makes this chair a modern design statement with strong utility and human factors.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
25 years of experience and research in woodcraft and furniture design and production have led the designer to this chair design. May 2010, an initial prototype after numerous models, sketches and parts samples is produced. July 2011 an initial order is delivered. Original iterations, models, prototypes and production in North Carolina, USA. Teaching design at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has also been important to this development of the ‘A’ Back Windsor Chair.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The Crest is steam bent Ash. The Spindles (Ash) and Legs (White Oak) are a combination of lathe turning and spoke shaved with special attention to straight grain for strength. The Seat is Poplar and cut using CNC technology with hand sanding. The Front Leg passes through a 1" compound angled hole/through mortice in the Seat. The Front Legs provide a 'ledge' on which the Seat rests. All joints are well fit and glued with wedges where the Back Spindles pass through the Seat. Fine sanding and Milk Paint or Oil Finish with Wax complete this redesign of a traditional Windsor Chair.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
710mm x 510mm x 950mm;
White Oak, Ash and Poplar;
Danish Oil or Milk Paint with Wax.
This is a mass producible chair with only 6 types of parts repeated to make 15 pieces per each chair. The CNC carved seat is dished out in a traditional seat pan of the Windsor but in an oval form. The sophistication of the compound angle boring in the seat and the crest and the precision of parts allows for this design. Named 'A' Back Windsor for the shape formed by the back of the chair.
Chair, Windsor, Wood, Dining Chair
Research important to the development of the ‘A’ Back Windsor includes human factors studies: The Chair : Rethinking Culture, Body, and Design, by Cranz, Rethinking Sitting, by Opsvik, and Human Dimension & Interior Space : A Source Book of Design Reference Standards, by Panero and Zelnik.
The Windsor Style in America, by Santore is influential.
Extensive experience with hardwood furniture building and design informs an intimate material and process understanding. The designer studies and teaches Windsor, Shaker, Scandinavian and Contemporary design and manufacture.
Designed as a Dining Chair, the ‘up-right’ ergonomics is nearly puritanical. However, the space created in and behind can justify the wide stance.
The technology and economy of the Windsor Chairs and the Shaker Chairs inform this design most profoundly. A care and respect for craft and materials, along with the integration of seat to structure, reflect both historically and futuristically.
Windsor chairs are often named by their ‘back’ style (‘Fan Back’, ‘Continuous Arm’, ‘Bird Cage’). Thus, this chair is named for the form created by the legs and spindles, especially as seen from the back.
TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
Stoel Burrowes, 2011.