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Shimmer Chair

Strap Back Chair Strap Back Chair

Advanced Timber Concepts Research Centre: Gary Marinko Designer

WA Entries 2010

The chair is paradigmatic of the design-led research used in the realisation of this project. The chairs are manufactured with the Western Australian eucalypt species Karri and York Gum, and it exploits the strength and aesthetic character of these timbers to produce elegant, lightweight forms of great durability. The chair is produced in two distinct styles; the strap back and the woven back.

The project grew out of the observation that local furniture manufacturers discarded timber that had a cross section of 20mm x 20mm or less and in an effort to carry out the design according to sustainable practice so we adopted this size as the maximum for the components of the chair. It was also observed that timber furniture tended to be heavy, stiff, flat and rely on upholstery for comfort. This chair was to be light with a target of 3kg, flexible, textured and comfortable whilst still being constructed from only solid timber.

Juvenile Karri from forest thinnings, was found to be ideal for the lightweight frame and battens as it has long straight grain, great strength, and is flexible. This is complimented by the high density of York Gum where it is used to stiffen the back leg and rest piece and also to form a biscuit connecting the front barrel. Sophisticated jointing techniques were applied to the small timber sections to enable three way joints to occur and create an integrated structure where all members work together to provide strength and flexibility. Parts of these joints are exposed and make a contribution to aesthetic of the chairs.

Other manufacturing techniques such as steam bending and surface milling were also used in the fabrication of the chair and all components were sized to allow them to flex making comfort an integral characteristic. The surface milling applied to the seat battens provides the distinctive textured surface that ‘shimmers’.

Certified by the Australasian Furnishing Research and Development Institute (AFRDI) to Level 4 for Fixed-Height Chairs (heavy domestic, general office, contract hospitality and executive use)

The chair meets the following standards:
ISO7173:1989
AS/NZS4688.1.2000
AS/NZS4688.2.2000
AS/NZS4688.3.2000
Entered into:
  • Best Timber Joinery or Furniture Element, 2010
  • Best Use Of Timber as a Structural Element, 2010
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