Tradition meets modern design in this handcrafted prototype
Irish designer Andrew Clancy holds a perhaps unusual fascination with boat building. However, boats intimately connect form and function with material. It’s practically the definition of design.
A collaboration between Clancy and shipwright Matthew O’Malley for Irish brand Déanta, the Carvel Chair employs traditional Irish boat construction techniques and even integrates the traditional material, Irish larch. An increasingly rare resource due to its slow growth rates, the larch used in the chair was wind-felled and air seasoned for two years before being hand-shaped into planks, steam bent and bound together with copper rivets.
Thanks to the material, the chair is a living element. In dry climates, small gaps will appear between the planks, while humid environments will cause the planks to expand and close tight together. The material is also flexible, meaning that it moves with the user and increases the comfort of the seat, and a bent phosphatized steel base was specifically chosen to cradle the wooden seat due to its potential to accommodate this movement.
The Carvel Chair was most recently at the London Design Festival as part of the Design & Crafts Council Ireland’s “Weathering” exhibit. Although currently only a prototype, the chair will be available for purchase in January 2015.