Have a Seat (part 4)

December 16, 2009

(read parts one through three first, or this might not make sense.)

This entry foyer bench is a study in curves. The back supports have straight edges, and the surface of the seat is a horizontal plane, but beyond that it’s pretty much all curves. The back, the seat and the leg structure, all of it. And each element of the design has both an aesthetic and structural purpose.

The seat is a low, broad horizontal plane with an arcing outline that draws your attention to its center. The back, its supports angling outward, its ends shaped similarly, and its exuberant top edge following the idea of an arch… all pull your focus downward and inward. The legs are delicate, but broadly spread out to ensure stability. Their lines draw your eye upward, toward the center of the piece. That visual center, that spot where all the elements combine to focus your attention, is located several inches above the center of the seat. It is a void that seems to need something… someone.

That’s right, this bench, by design, is calling out to be sat upon! That’s part of what I call “Human Centered Design”.

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In part three I talked about gathering the materials for the bench. So now, the next step is to actually make it. Rather than write about that, think I’ll show a few pictures of the bench in progress:

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leg structure, upside-down on the workbench

close-up of the four-way joint

fitting the back supports

close-up of back support… the piece has just been dampened to raise the grain for the final sanding

gluing the back to the supports

final sanding before applying the finish

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