Gabriel Tan on Stove
"What attracted me to be a designer was the exploration of cultures, history, traditions, the crossing and breaking of geographical and cultural boundaries. When I was teaching a summer class at the University of Oregon in 2012, my good friends - John and Wonhee Arndt from Studio Gorm told me about John's research on the shakers and their trips to the Hancock Shaker Village in Massachusetts. I have of course known about the shakers through design history books but to think about visiting a site where they once lived and where hundreds of artifacts and original shaker furniture are preserved, it blew my mind. I told the Arndts that I wanted to visit this place too and we eventually hatched a plan to organize a design workshop that would bring designers from the US and other parts of the world together, to the Shaker village, and to redesign new products based on the Shaker movement.
We went to the Hancock Shaker Village together in the middle of winter to photograph and film the place and artifacts, and eventually recruited designers and sponsors through the content we collected. Studio Gorm, Ladies and Gentleman Studio and Chris Specce pulled their weight to organize the workshop at the Shaker village and the eventual exhibition at New York Design Week 2016. And that's how Stove chair was born.
and the Shaker project
The chair is really about two things I love the most about the shakers, one - that they hung their furniture and stuff on the wall when they don't use it. It's such a clever idea and I thought "why isn't anyone doing it today?" And two - the unusual shape of the wood-fire Shaker Stove. I gave myself a target of designing a chair what was small and light enough to be hung on the wall, but not upside down, it had to be hung upright so that it can be displayed like a sculpture. The softened, convex form of the seat gives comfort while being small, and the low back rest gives you just enough lumbar support. I made it three legged to remove weight from the solid wood chair. The result is the smallest possible chair I could imagine people sitting on comfortably and I also designed a peg goes along with it and a peg rail. The public reaction to the chair was way better than I could have hoped for and when Johan Lindau of Blå Station told me that he wanted to produce it, I said YES immediately because I know Blå Station well from Outofstock's (a collective I co-founded) Åhus chair project - this is a company with a reliable, warm and brave leadership who have never been shy to take their stance on design, however unconventional, and I hope that all Blå Station fans and customers around the world will share their love for Stove."
Key points of the Stove chair:
- Visually impactful
- Strong and durable
- More comfortable than it looks
- Love it or hate it, try it!
Photocredit: Charlie Schuck