Knauf and Brown
Emily Carr University of Art and Design
The PROFILE CHAIR folds on a single axis. This cuts down on intersecting lines and gives the chair a minimal profile that takes up less visual space when open, and less physical space when closed.
PROFILE CHAIR is a chair that you can use everyday. The powder coated steel and solid larch make it equally at home indoors and outdoors.
The PROFILE CHAIR was our answer to everything we didn’t like about folding chairs. Folding chairs are shy, coming out only when extra seating is needed. They are ashamed of their cluttered leg regions, complicated actions, and cheap materials. The PROFILE CHAIR folds on a single axis. This cuts down on intersecting lines and gives the chair a minimal profile that takes up less visual space when open, and less physical space when closed. PROFILE CHAIR is a chair that you can use everyday. The powder coated steel and solid larch make it equally at home indoors and outdoors.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
the brief for this project was to create a folding chair for indoor and outdoor use for a high-end furniture manufacturer/retailer. the design had to include wood as a primary material.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
we felt that for the chair that spent the majority of its life open, rather than tucked away. it was important to us that the chair did not embody any of the cheap and unstable visual and physical qualities you find in most folding chairs. this meant no connected legs, no side to side racking, and no busy folding mechanisms. the triangle formed by the leg, back and seat that is found on the profile of the classic folding chair was a specific visual cue that we wanted to avoid. we were not satisfied with any mechanism that required more than one movement. the owner should be able to unfold the chair, not have to unlock it.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
the the materials we chose reflected their respective purposes within the chair. large, planar surfaces contacting the body were constructed using wood, while long thin structural pieces were best suited to metal. the brief requested the chair be for both indoor and outdoor use, so it was important to treat both wood and steel. the steel was powder coated, and larch was used for the seat due to its durability and natural weather resistance, then treated with beeswax. the profile chair was tested ergonomically for human fit, cognitive interaction (how people understand and choose to hold/open it) as well as safety issues (pinch tests, etc).5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
we created this piece to be a folding chair that could be treated with respect, rather than the disposability associated with most folding chairs. as space becomes more of an issue in city living with apartments getting smaller and smaller, the folding chair's role is reversed: rather than extra seating that spends the majority of its life in storage, the profile chair is meant to be used in day to day life, only getting folded out of the way for a friday night dance party.
A mix of materials and beautiful proportions make this elegant chair.
Elegance in two positions, folded like unfolded.
It does not feel mechanical.
Folding but at the same time generous, gentle, cheerful, “creamy.”