Affectual Chair by Shawn Weiland

December 29, 2010

San Fracisco-based designer Shawn Weiland has sent us the Affectual Chair.


Description from Shawn Weiland:

The Affectual Chair is about relationships: the relationship of materials, the relationship between the user and the object and also the relationship among people. The design propagates interaction by how materials come together and by how the body relates to the chair. A chair has a ubiquitous connection to the body  in our daily lives and so when designing a chair, the designer needs to consider how it performs physically, emotionally and cognitively for every user and in every context it is placed within.

The Affectual Chair explores the innate qualities of materials and their predisposed tendencies for a particular formal language. Exploring the way the grain of the wood wants to bend directly impacts how the form is created. When the bend is with the grain, you get a smoother curve and when the bend is against the grain the angles become more acute, taking the shape of the tubular steel. Likewise, the way the metal structure is created through a single line that moves in  and out of the seat illustrates the dominate character of the stainless steel, as a structural element. The contrast between wood and metal, warmth and  coolness, exemplifies the divergent and convergent nature of interactions and relationships.

Using a modular system in which three ½” steel tubes are embedded within the veneer, allows the sizes and angles of the legs to be interchangeable, giving the user and the manufacturer the ability to make a lounge chair or a dining chair by simply switching the stainless steel legs. The versatile nature of the construction  method allows for optimized shipping, storage and transportation.

The chair disregards any superfluous or decorative elements for a purist formal language which insists on the materials and the form being directly related to its  functional uses. Each element of the design looks at how to achieve the most out of the least. The functional attributes of the chair: ergonomics, durability and  aesthetics play a vital role in morphogenesis, the creation of form. The angled sides of the seat wrap around the user, stabilizing and enclosing, morphing the chair and user into a single affect. The displaced veneer from where the metal penetrates becomes handles to move the chair as well and grips for the user when seated. The dual leg support on the back of the chair acts as lateral support, replacing any need for cross bracing. Using the minimalist philosophy of reduction to  the point where there are no external signifiers, the user must project themselves into the design in order to discover with the chair, promulgating the emotive and experiential qualities that the design creates.

Visit Shawn Weiland’s website – here.