London Design Festival: every scrap of material and minute of production time was carefully recorded during the manufacturing of these twelve wooden chairs, helping the Royal College of Art students that designed them to measure each one's sustainability.
Above: Floating Chair by Bobby Petersen and Tom Gottelier
Top: Well Proven Chair by James Shaw and Marjan van Aubel
The data was used to produce life-cycle assessments, charting the projected lifespan of each chair against the cost of resources and processes needed to produce it.
Above: Travelling Bench by Nicholas Gardner and David Horan
The entire collection was manufactured from different hardwoods and includes a flatpack bench (above), a stool held together with string (below) and a one-man boat.
Above: Snelson by Sam Weller
The Well Proven Chair (top) is formed from timber shavings mixed with bio-resin, which together form a sloppy paste that hardens as it dries.
Above: Folded Chair by Norie Matsumoto
The Folded Chair (above) has an asymmetric structure that collapses for easy storage, while the Solitude chair (below) has solid sides and was inspired by church seating in Cyprus.
Above: Solitude by Mary Argyrou
Santi Guerrero Font used a strong ash to create his chair (below) so that he could slim down the thickness from 20 millimetres to 12.
Above: Num. 4 by Santi Guerrero Font
Lauren Davies produced her high-back chair (below) using offcuts from nine different types of wood, while Michael Warren created his stool (below that) from a single piece of timber.
Above: Leftovers Chair by Lauren Davies
Above: Designed Legacy by Michael Warren
Above: Squeeze by Nicholas Wallenberg
Twelve writers have also penned stories and poems imagining the life story of each chair, which are presented together as a book with photographs by Petr Krejčí.
Above: Beeeench by Petter Thörne
Above: Tree Furniture by Anton Alvarez
Here's some more text from the exhibition organisers:
An innovative collaboration between the American Hardwood Export Council and the Royal College of Art Design Products programme offers a fascinating approach to working with an age-old material – American hardwood.
Out of the Woods explores the creative and environmental potential of this naturally renewable material by looking at the entire life cycle of each product.￼ Working with British furniture producer Benchmark, internationally renowned for its craftsmanship in wood, RCA students – under tutors Sebastian Wrong (Established & Sons) and Harry Richardson (Committee) – have each designed a chair or seat using American Hardwood.
The production was carefully monitored with the help of sustainability experts, p.e. international, to prepare an accurate life cycle impact report for each chair. The reports contribute to AHEC’s on-going research into hardwood’s sustainability credentials and inform the students of the full cradle-to-grave environmental impact of their design and material choices. Inspired by the life cycle of each chair, twelve well known writers have created a work of art to tell the story: Adventures of Twelve hardwood Chairs.