On June 30th, with other projects in the shop wrapping up, I realized that I had three weeks until Port Moody Celebration of Wood Woodfair. I knew that I wanted to have some new work for the show and got the idea to design a chair. That night I started prototyping. Previously, I posted a review of prototype #1, #2 and #3.
During the build, I referred to the chair as version 4, not prototype 4 because I hoped that I would be satisfied with the end result. As it neared completion, I realized that although it was clearly my favourite of the four designs, it still needed refining.
This design benefited greatly from the previous three prototypes on which I worked out the critical dimension and angle of the back rest. Here is what this design taught me:
- I got the dimensions and angle right so the chair was comfortable;
- the aesthetic of the design was okay, but I wasn’t quite happy with the overall form; and
- the whole chair tended to sway side-to-side. The sway seemed to come from the frame itself and not from the joint at the bottom stabilizing cross member. This may have been a problem with the design itself or with the fact that ash was one of the more flexible woods.
In three weeks I designed and built four prototype chairs and learned a lot along the way. However, I wasn’t able to finish the design process but I discovered what worked and what didn’t work, what I liked and what I didn’t like. It was a good challenge and I enjoyed the journey.
In a way, it was my own version of the Telephone Game Design Experiment (why not sign up to play?).