Firstly I made a spider diagram to explore comfort and get some ideas.
As I am quite interested in furniture anyway and appreciate the comfort of a good armchair I decided to go with this idea for my design. I used a mood board as shown below to give me inspiration and depict the colours and imagery the product will embody.
I am a fan of biophilic design and wanted to try and go for something that embodied nature in its design. I went with a water droplet type shape for my design and decided that I wanted to experiment with using tightly stretched fabric as a means of back support. These are my first basic sketches:
Although, one of the images above shows a sort of desk attachment, I decided to scrap that part of the idea. They give a rough idea of the shape I am going for though. I decided the best way to achieve the type of tight fabric back support I am after, would be to construct a light but strong frame with a very heavy bottom. The sketch below shows how this frame would look, however I would have to experiment with different materials for the finished result.
I would then upholster the frame with a removable jacket of fabric that fastens around the frame with a zip at the bottom. This way the material can be washed and fixed or altered when needed. The finished chair would look something like the sketch below.
I then constructed a model of the frame to show what that would look like in 3D.
I then tried to make a model of the finished item using polystyrene however this proved to be difficult and the result could have been better.
I would like to make the material for the exterior from plant based and sustainable materials and although I couldn’t find the exact material I want. If the design were to go ahead, I would synthesise a stretchable fabric using newly developed plant based lycra called ‘Invista’ and sustainable ‘organic cotton’. I would use these to weave a Chenille type fabric which would then be made into upholstery. For the frame I would use British FSC certified White Oak because the finish is not important and this is a great affordable and ethical option. For the heavy base, I would have to experiment with weight ratios etc but some sort of sandbag or possibly even artificial stone.