William Warren

London based product and furniture designer
Posts Tagged ‘seating’

Church Chair Competition

The Church of England recently released a brief to design new seating to fit in their churches. The competition stated that designers should team up with manufacturers in order to ensure the final submissions would be produceable in high numbers.

Here are the pages I submitted for the competition. I didn’t get selected for the final shortlist. This may be partially due to the fact that I ignored the notion of partnering with a manufacturer and instead chose to pursue a…

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The Elves and the Chairmakers

One factory, 5 Designers, and 2 days.

On a sleepy weekend in early June this year, five designers visited the famous Lloyd Loom of Spalding factory. Whilst the assembly workers were away, and assisted by two of Lloyd Loom’s loyal craftsmen, the designers with no set agenda, helped themselves to standard components, experimented and reinterpreted. Over the intense and frantic two days, thirteen new concepts were conceived and left in the factory showroom for the staff to find on Monday morning.


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The Fife Bench in production

Chris Eckersley and I went up to Fife the other day to see the benches in production. Envirovent have made a lovely job of making them.

The benches are being delivered to Fife council this week and should be installed pretty soon.

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upholstered sunray chair

This is an extremely comfortable arm chair for prolonged sitting. It is ideal for use in waiting areas or in places to relax, such as conservatories or librariarys.

The chair has a seat made from a single plank of Ash, carved into a comfortable bottom shape. Like the Sunray chair designed at the same time, the seat’s spindles all run into the lower rails of the chair, rather than the seat block, as they would in a traditional windsor chair. The back…

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sunray chair

The direct development from the chair originally made in the woods for the Bodging Milano project, this is a traditionally constructed windsor chair in ash, with a carved seat, spindles and a steam bent back bow.

The spindles in the back do not run into the seat block, but instead fan out from the lower back rail giving a sun rise effect. The top of the seat has nothing joining into it, allowing the curve back and seat to sit comfortably together…

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Cov Bodge

As a direct development of the Bodging Milano project, the same nine designers were invited to traditional chair manufacturers Sitting Firm in coventry. The designers were given the run of the factory for three days and allowed access to the well stocked stores of component parts and the specialist chair making equipment.

In the three days, I managed to produce three chairs; two armchairs of the same design and a dining seat.

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bodging milano

From 30th March to April 5th 2010, nine designers went in the woods of deepest Herefordshire. With the help of Gudrun Leitz and her assistant Paul, each designer had to make a greenwood chair in the outdoor workshop. The challenge was in getting out of the studio, away from drawing boards, computer screens, and mechanised equipment and back into the hands-on world of the original country chair-makers. In the woods there is no electricity, only pole lathes, steam benders and some…

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Bench of Nails

Designed in 2004 for a park in Clarkenwell, this bench plays with the fact that people will sit on anything. Even if it has originally been designed to keep people off.

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Weave Stool

Inspired by traditional woven topped seating, this stool is made from four identical plywood forms that weave together to form the seat and legs. The stools are veneered in natural ash or black ash.

The stools were launched at the British Design Embassy during the Milan Design Festival in April 2009.

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Silhouette Chair ‘Victoria’

The ‘Victoria’ chair is the wife of ‘Albert’, the Silhouette chair that I designed for Trico in 2001. Both chairs are developed from the shapes of traditional English chairs and made in laminated plywood. The result is an elegant shape, which is aware of the chairs that have gone before it.

Victoria was launched at a solo show in Tokyo called ‘Lovable, Alternative Folk Design, during their design week in December 2007.

Link to chair on Trico’s website

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Silhouette Chair ‘Albert’

In England, this is a common shape for a chair. An archetype. The shape has evolved rather than been designed. It originated from the qualities of the wood from which it is constructed and the processes available to make it in the past. It has been reproduced often because it is strong and comfortable.

My version of the chair is made in laminated plywood. This process works by gluing together thin sheets or ‘veneers’ of wood over a mould. A technique…

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Pub Sofa and Armchairs

The Pub Sofa and Armchairs carry the traditional within the modern. The simple modern cube sofa contains the memories of older sofa styles. The deep buttoned velvet sofa is at a slight angle to the exterior to reinforce the two at slightly at odds with each other.

The sofa and armchairs were launched at a solo show in Tokyo called ‘Lovable, Alternative Folk Design, during their design week in December 2007.

Link to sofa on Trico’s website

Link to armchair on Trico’s website

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FFF Workbench and Stools

The FFF Workbench is designed to better suit the developments in the new curriculum for secondary school Design and Technology lessons. It has a replaceable Linoleum top for written and drawing work and a solid beech edge for more demanding practical work. The Lino has a graphic in the centre that aims to provide ‘Incidental learning’ by showing technical details in everyday objects such as radius, inside diameter, cubic measurements and isometric views. The workbench has rulers set into its…

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