Industrial designer David Irwin has re-imaged the ordinarily utilitarian and tacky folding chair as an elegant, contemporary wooden version as part of the Tools for Everyday Life.
Folding chairs are more often than not kept in the closet, taking up minimal space, waiting to be brought out for when more guests than usual will be attending. The Kiddie Table, the Super Bowl, a Baby Shower, or Dinner Party are common events for which you reach for those extra chairs – usually a cold powder coated metal, acrylic or worse, upholstered with a ‘pleather’ seat. There are wooden folding chairs out there, but most are clunky, ugly, dated-looking options. Just Google the term ‘wooden folding chairs’ and you’ll see what I mean.
Industrial Designer David Irwin will present this beautiful new interpretation of the classic wooden folding chair as part of the award-winning “Tools for Everyday Life” project at this month’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York City. His re-imagining of the wooden folding chair gives a modern update to a concept that dates back to the ancient worlds, imbuing it with a resounding sense of quality and aesthetic appeal.
The elegant design features a smooth sweeping transition from the turned oak legs into the formed backrest, which also doubles as the mount for the pivot from where the back leg rotates. The seat and back are formed from layered birch ply with an oak veneer with an oiled finish and stainless steel fixings.
The fixings contained on the underside of the chair slide along the grooves within the back legs to present a graceful silhouette with clean flowing lines, which looks as good folded away for storage as it does when open and in use.
Inspired by the constantly adapting nature of modern workshops this lightweight chair is both easy to collapse and move around, and can be stored in condensed stacks that occupy minimal space. Suitable for both domestic and contract use, the solid oak frame is robust enough for use in meeting, conference and waiting rooms.
About David Irwin:
Born in N.Ireland in 1986, David Irwin graduated in Three Dimensional Design at Northumbria University in 2007. He completed a fellowship on the Designers in Residence program at Northumbria’s School of Design in 2010 and subsequently went on to establish his own Industrial Design Studio in 2011. Focused on material exploration, David Irwin works for leading manufacturers and design-led companies such as Habitat, Deadgood and Juniper within the realm of contemporary furniture, product and lighting design. His designs combine strong conceptual thinking with a fundamental usefulness, resulting in simple, innovative and refined solutions to aid our daily lives.
Tools for Everyday Life
A former graduate and current lecturer at Northumbria University’s School of Design, David has been involved with the Tools for everyday Life project since it’s inception. The products and furniture in the “Tools for Everyday Life” collection engage a utilitarian design language, a craftsman’s understanding of materials and are inspired by how well designed ‘tools’ connect users with a task. The project is an on-going initiative to investigate the role and relevancy of materials and processes in the design of functional products. The latest products in the collection address the functions of the office environment. All the designers involved in the project are staff, designers in residence and graduates from the BA(hons) Three Dimensional Design program at the School of Design, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
“Tools for Everyday Life” by Northumbria University
Booth 2314, International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF)
16-19 May 2015, Jacob Javits Center 11th Ave at 38th St, New York City