Giles Pearson – Designer
I have always been intrigued by wire chairs, they have an interesting sculptural quality and a transparent look which is unique. They also function well outdoors, and especially in the UK as rainwater doesn’t have anywhere to collect.
However, I have always found them busy looking chairs with lots going on and by their nature aren’t particularly comfortable. So this gave us a brief to work towards, which was to design a range of wire chairs that had a simpler form and more comfortable seat shape.
Contour is constructed of a bold tubular frame with a delicate wire seat. The legs go up, along the seat and form this big comfortable curve around the back. The wire seat starts flat at the front and becomes incrementally more curved towards the backrest.
This transition of curves from horizontal to vertical is unique to the chair and fundamental to it’s success. It was all about getting the negative space to balance so it works visually, but also so it contributes to this large surface area creating a softer and more comfortable seat shape.
Steel is a great material, it is strong, inexpensive and can be repeatedly recycled without any impact on the quality of the material. Contour is made from a combination 56% recycled and 44% virgin material. This is thought to be the most sustainable ratio, as demand for steel outstrips the amount that is recycled.
The way to make steel-based products more sustainable is to keep them simple, the less materials used, the easier they are to disassemble, and the more likely they are to be recycled. I like the idea that the steel in our chairs has metamorphosised over the years serving a variety of different functions. A chair now, but may have been a car panel, structural beam or hand rail and this to me is circular design.
Giles Pearson – Design Director