The process of metal spinning is traditionally used to make circular metal objects, such as timpani drums and gas cylinders, by pressing flat sheets of metal against a shaped former while they both rotate. If it was possible to make large drums with spun metal, might it be possible to make a chair with a completely symmetrical rotational form? And would it be comfortable to sit in?
After extensive research and experimentation, Heatherwick Studio produced an ergonomic form that works as a chair, whichever way it is rotated. To achieve this in a single form, the seat had to be capable of serving as a back support and the back support had to make a comfortable seat.
At college, Heatherwick had been taught by a silversmith, skilled in using big sheets of silver to make large goblets and trophies. Working with the gallery, Haunch of Venison, Heatherwick Studio used the traditional craft of large-scale metal spinning to produce a series of highly finished pieces in different metals. The studio also collaborated with the Italian furniture manufacturer, Magis, to develop a version made with a different kind of rotational process, rotation-moulded plastic.
Project Leader: Stuart Wood
Team: Mark Burrows