Chaise Portrait was completed in my second year of University. The brief was to design and create a chaise. It was broken into two parts. Stage 1 was individual and we were required to produce a concept and a 1:5 physical model. Stage 2 was a team project where projects were selected from stage 1 to be crafted into full scale prototypes as well as 1:5 scale models. My project from stage 1 was selected.
Stage 1 : Individual Project and Initial Concept
'Chaise Portrait' creates a self-portrait of the user. It is a chair that comes alive when in use and makes the user become noticed. When not in use it sits alone as a framed piece that arises questions about purpose.
What I initially created was a piece that was to be perceived as abstract art at first glance but once the ergonomic grooves were seen by the viewer I wanted this to initiate the interaction. Touching or physically interacting with art is often seen as 'taboo', Chaise Portrait was pushing this to the extreme that the user went from viewing to becoming the piece of art itself.
Stage 2 : Selection and group development
The style of the chaise was changed dramatically. It was changed to an elegant style and was adapted to a simple black and white contrast. It was also changed to two pieces; this was to relate the aesthetic towards a traditional renaissance chaise shape.
Group: James Boock, Philippa Shipley, Hannah Warren, Maxfield Holz, Kohen Judd and Brenna McGuinness.
The ergonomic grooves in the chaise create a subtle hint of the intended use, implying that it is a chaise.
There was also a scale model made, this was to show the frame in relation to the chaise and also to show that the user steps onto the frame and 'into' the portrait.
The chaise was made by 3D modeling in SolidWorks, then transferred to a STL file and made from wood using a CNC router. It is held up by brackets that penetrate the wall and hold the chaise up, so they are non-existant to the viewer. This gives the design a touch of mystery.