Today I had the chance to catch up with Chris and Graham and get talking about my ideas and where they might lead. With the end of last semester being so hectic I never really got a chance to speak to them about the exciting new developments that came out of my trip to Lewis but when I told them today, they seemed quite intrigued by it all. I’ve come away from it feeling quite good about where I’m at and think I’ve made a good start to the semester. It seems that my idea has a bit of depth as well which is good as there are few different aspects – maybe too many but these can be refined and brought into focus a bit more.
There was only one flaw in my plans – my complete lack of experience in furniture design and crafting. I may be underestimating how difficult it would be – not to mention the fact that Product Design cosies up beside Furniture Design at New Designers, I may be significantly overshadowed by them. Because of this, I have maybe two options: 1. Go ahead and build a chair but keep the design as simple and minimalist as possible; or 2. Source a chairs and adapt them.
Whichever method I choose, it might be a good idea to shift the focus of my project away from the design of the chair and more towards the role of the Harris Tweed and the connection it has to the place it is inspired by. I find it difficult to let go of this idea that the shape and form of the chair is inspired by the land, using two contrasting landscapes – such as a beach and a mountain – to illustrate this but as Graham pointed out, a bit of commonality might be a good thing. If they are too drastically different, that is what people will focus their attention on which will detract from the material. Plenty food for thought…
In the meantime, Graham told me about this project by Martino Gamper called 100 Chairs In 100 Days. It’s like looking through a sketchbook of ideas but they are actual 3d objects. This quote from Gamper almost sums up my project perfectly: “I also hope my chairs illustrate — and celebrate — the geographical, historical and human resonance of design: what can they tell us about their place of origin or their previous sociological context and even their previous owners? For me, the stories behind the chairs are as important as their style or even their function.”