A few months ago I started working on a picture book and, when I hit a snag with that, I decided to take a little break and start a different project. For no real reason in particular, I decided that I wanted to build a chair. Last fall I built a very sculptural lounge chair and, while I was happy with the result of that project, this time I wanted to build a chair that actually looked like a chair. I wanted to go for a little more practicality while maintaining some of the sculptural elements of all my other work. What I ended up with was a suspended Adirondack chair made from wood and steel cable.
As usual, I started off by sketching a bunch of different abstract shapes until a more concrete idea started taking form. Eventually, I came up with a design that, though elegant, would have been too flimsy to hold anyone over the age of five. This always seems to be the most difficult part of making a piece of sculptural furniture; you come up with all of these great forms, but most of them aren’t strong or practical enough to serve as a seat or table. But I really liked the form of that initial design, so I kept tinkering with it until I had something I thought would work.
The design consists of two main parts: the frame and the seat. What makes the chair unique is that the seat is not attached to the frame by the usual means of screws and bolts. Instead, it floats between the two armrests, being suspended by steel cables. As always, my goal in using the cables was to provide both structural support as well as interesting contours that continually change with the viewer’s relative position.