Beke Dining Chair by John G Williams

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DESIGN DETAILS
DESIGN NAME:
Beke

PRIMARY FUNCTION:
Dining Chair

INSPIRATION:
Beke means 'peace' and 'to be connected to'. This design is intended to put the user at ease, for extended comfort at the dining table – to provide an ergonomic and aesthetic sense of peace. The design attempts to realize this sense of well-being, and at the same time to support a sense of connection with the space at the table, and hence engagement with the other diners. The design: respects the simplicity of the Danish Modern, and yet incorporates a luxurious solid hardwood seat and back; integrates South African Cape Dutch architectural motifs with a sweeping architectural profile; uses a clean ash frame to showcase the richness of local and international hardwoods.

UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The Beke design uses a combination of innovative components. The seat is a unique design laminated from individually shaped profiles to yield the final solid hardwood architectural form. The rear legs are formed in two parts: first by steam bending the graceful form, and then laminating for long term dimensional stability. The rails are profiled in an attempt to reinforce the overall lightness and sense of peace, and to support the cantilevered seat over the front rail.

OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The chair works well at the dining table and, when pushed back or used elsewhere, is also comfortable for extended periods of time. Moving the chair around is easy – the hand naturally finds the hand-shaped indent at the bottom edge of the backrest and the well-balanced chair is readily lifted from this point

PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
Work started on the design in March 2018 and was completed it in May 2018.

FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design

PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The chair design incorporates a number of innovative components: custom profiled hardwood seat; steam bent rear legs; coopered backrest; and shaped rails: Custom profiled hardwood seat. The seat is constructed from over twenty individually shaped profiles that are formed from a solid hardwood, such as walnut. The laminated rough form is finished with purpose modified sanding tooling, to realize the final shape. Threaded inserts in the base of the seat provide strong engineered connection to the frame for the cantilevered seat form. Steam bent rear legs. The rear legs are steam bent in two pieces; cooled and stabilized; and then laminated to generate the final leg forms. Regular lamination was discarded on account of the excessive glue joints implied; and steam bending alone risked dimensional instability over time. This innovative combination captures the best of both techniques. Coopered backrest. Coopering is the ancient art of constructing curved forms as used in barrel construction. The backrest staves are cut with edges 1 degree off perpendicular so that, when glued together, they pull into the curved form. Modified power tools are used to finish shape the graceful curves. Shaped rails. The rails incorporate forms that echo local Cape Dutch architecture. These are achieved by trimming the rails to custom templates.

SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Overall dimensions: 880mm high; 520mm wide; 600mm deep Seat size in plan: 520mm wide x 440 mm deep Backrest size in elevation: 540mm wide x 200mm high Seat height from floor: 460mm. Raked back at 5 degrees Back rest height from floor: 825mm. Raked back at 18 degrees Weight: 5.5kg

TAGS:
Beke, dining chair, south africa, hardwood, curved, danish modern, minimalist, ash, walnut, graceful

RESEARCH ABSTRACT:
The Carl Hansen library of designs were carefully reviewed and analysed; Earlier designs were critiqued, including last year's Zene design; Various sweeping architectural forms were referenced; Steam bending method and realisation were researched drawing on various inputs including helpful general introduction by Veritas; Template cutting and trimming methods were researched and prototyped, to understand the boundaries and possibilities.

CHALLENGE:
The hardest part of this design was to make sure that the end result was clean, simple and graceful. On multiple occasions unduly complicated ideas were abandoned in favour of simpler, cleaner design details

ADDED DATE:
2018-09-13 09:00:25

TEAM MEMBERS (1) :
John G Williams

IMAGE CREDITS:
All photos by John G Williams

PATENTS/COPYRIGHTS:
UK IP Office Registered Design: 6047911 Holder: John Griffith Williams, 2018

Visit the following page to learn more: https://www.johngwilliamsfinefurniture.com
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CLIENT/STUDIO/BRAND DETAILS
NAME:
John G Williams Fine Furniture

PROFILE:
John G Williams Fine Furniture is a Johannesburg based designer and manufacturer of fine furniture. The brand focuses on very high-end timber furniture products, which potentially find application in boutique hotels and lodges, commercial spaces, and exclusive residential settings. The product range includes a number of dining chair designs, a dining table, a kitchen bar chair, and most recently a lounge chair. The brand stands for the highest level of craftsmanship, and an aesthetic sense of freshness and simplicity, whilst aiming for the maximum possible ergonomic comfort. John G Williams Fine Furniture aims to deliver products that appear new and distinctive. By creating work that is enduring in both design and construction, the useful life of the products is maximized and this reinforces the sustainability of the product, and the responsible use of timber resources. The brand celebrates solid hardwood timber, for its richness of grain, colour and texture. American Walnut is a favourite hardwood, chosen for its interesting colour and inherent sense of quality. Clients are also able to select other indigenous hardwoods for the construction of their furniture and this can increase their personal connection with the work, and tailor the products to a particular setting. The brand has an unconstrained feel in its aesthetic, with interesting flowing shapes, both in the supporting frames, and in the main seating components. In the most recent addition to the range – a lounge chair – the solid hardwood seat is shaped into a deep shell which then forms both the seat and arms. John G Williams Fine Furniture willingly takes on some quite extreme manufacturing challenges in order to deliver designs that are beautiful and striking.

NOMINATION DETAILS

Beke Dining Chair by John G Williams is a Nominee in Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design Category.

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AWARD DETAILS

Beke Dining Chair by John G Williams is Winner in Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design Category, 2018 - 2019.



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