What was the design vision for the Tucker, Abbott, and Nash?
Tucker started out as a single chair before evolving into tandem options. I wanted to design a simple, yet elegant guest chair that depicts movement with the use of soft, sweeping arcs and tapers. This also helps to exaggerate the pitch of the chair visually which helps it appear not so static and monolithic. The intention to design this with more upholstery than most side chairs was to portray a feeling of comfort when solely viewing the chair and most importantly, to BE comfortable when you sit in it. Cost was also a factor with the use of more upholstery being that we could eliminate a seat board and the added cost of finishing the four seat rails and back rails. The specifier is given the opportunity to really showcase some beautiful coverings on this product, which typically isn’t the case with wood guest chairs. The coverings can be a dominant factor of the design with this product.
I was asked later to try and incorporate this design into a tandem series. The reason for this request was to try and take advantage of integrating this design into additional markets, i.e. healthcare waiting areas, retail planning, etc.
The thought behind Abbott was to design a very contemporary chair while keeping the shapes and scale more modern; more minimalist. The scaling of the components was essential in pulling off the feeling I wanted to achieve with this series. We’re pushing the envelope with this by going much thinner than normal, but at the same time we’ve incorporated some “out-of-the-box” techniques in joinery that aid in creating very strong joints that hold up to the contract market’s BIFMA requirements. The development and testing process involved with this chair was an eye opening education regarding how the characteristics of wood and joinery can change dramatically when a new element or process is added to what is typical or standard.
The various back designs are simply options that satisfy requirements for both the day-to-day dealer sales as well as more project driven jobs.
Nash is a fresh approach to the tub chair that helps fill what I thought was a void in the current seating line. I wanted to push the envelope a bit with the play of positive and negative space both to create an interesting flow around the chair that’s seen from all angles as well as to reduce the visually heavy mass that can be so prevalent in more conventional tub chair designs. It’s a bit challenging in upholstery, but worth the extra effort and time when you see the results. Proportionally, it’s a larger than normal guest chair. I actually have a hard time calling it a guest chair when defined under conventional guest seating proportions. To me it’s in between a guest and club chair and can serve the purpose of both. This ample inside seating area allows the rounded, concave shape to comfortably embrace the user.
How do you feel they fit in today’s evolving office environment?
As our way of working changes, so do the products within our working environment change to incorporate the new needs. However guest seating is still, in my opinion, accent furnishings that can be placed in just about any environment whether in public spaces, collaborative areas, or private offices. It’s not necessarily “working” furniture as is other seating products. I think there will always be a need for this type of accent furniture within interiors. The main idea is to keep these simple seating products fresh and visually appealing so they can help complement current trends in interior design.
What are your thoughts about working with Kimball Office?
My relationship with Kimball Office started back in the beginning of 2014 when various design concepts of mine were being considered as new introductions to the line. The group of people I’ve come to know within the organization are some of the most driven and accomplished professionals with whom I’ve had the luxury to work. The development of new product can be very challenging and even frustrating at times. But the people within the Kimball organization that have been involved with the development of my designs have been very positive, out-of-the-box thinkers that make the development process so much more fun and rewarding.
I’ve known and have worked with several senior and executive level managers for close to a decade now when they were at other companies before coming to Kimball Office. When these individuals’ career paths led them to Kimball Office, our worlds collided yet again. It’s been great to experience first hand a company that’s going through so many positive changes today. I anticipate great things with these guys!