Once in a while I would refer designers as magicians. Their job include fretting with the un-yet-known, perform some ‘magic tricks’ and then shazam! There it is the 1:1. Nonetheless, at the end of the show their expectations are pretty much similar. A nodding head with a smile, positive astonishment, perhaps flowers if they please or a standing ovation might do. Well now I’m exaggerating. Their core similarity is creating something out of the nothing or a thing out of a something.
This project was a college assignment, in which the students had to create a seating facility, may it be a chair or a sofa, anything. Now the theme of this project was ‘recycled materials furniture’. What’s designed should be made of previously used things.
So here’s mine. I made a chair with the main reused material of iron cloth hangers! Where did the idea come from? Well I wanted to use a material which isn’t likely to be seen as a too obviously possible material for a seating. Considering the choice of material, I chose the iron over the plastic ones because it needed to be rigid and I thought iron was easier to work with (bending, attaching, etc). However, although made of iron, it can’t be used as a solo, meaning that I needed a bunch of iron hangers, otherwise the product would be frail. Yep, call me a magician wanna-be! I wanted that ta-da moment at the very end LOL. Anyway, the ideas I had previously developed:
- To create the seating part out of arranged hangers. Arranging the hangers to create a round shape. But then I scratched the idea because just thinking of it, imagining of how uncomfortable it must feel to sit on a patterned seat out of iron and not to forget the mark it probably will leave on the human body. So thinking about the further structure was even out of question.
- To create a chair, seat + armrest + backrest, by bending and attaching the hangers to one another to great a rigid piece. I was in love with the idea! I had imagined adding 3 Scandinavian style wooden legs to it, paint the iron, and add a groovy pillow, but… unfortunately I couldn’t find a craftsman who was able to bend and attach the iron.
The final product had to be functional yet aesthetic, and the idea definitely didn’t appear overnight. The process include experimenting with the material, arranging, combining, get it wrong, do it all over again, try another method, get more material, do discussions with the lecturer, with a few craftsman etc. Well basically that’s called studying at a design student level.
So finally a bright halogen lamp appeared at my head and this is how I arranged it.
2 hangers combined making a module,
And combining them all results in this. Attaching them by molding iron on parts of the hanger.
This is a 3D model I made it to have a rough sketch of the design.
And voila! Eventually I made the hangers as the leg structure. Combining them creates a very rigid structure and I was surprised yet relieved to find that the arrangements of the raw form of hangers turns out to be quite aesthetic! Adding a seat out of plywood, pillow and a backrest and that’s a wrap! It was a long process, it took a lot of time, energy and hard work, but it paid off. At the end of the day, I had fun designing it, exploring new forms and I was also pretty content with the final result. Of course I wouldn’t have done this without the help of my friends, lecturer and craftsman.