Sketches of Seating author reveals seven drawings of chairs by prolific designers

Sketches of chairs

To mark the launch of Sketches of Seating, a book highlighting the process behind contemporary chair design, co-author Daniel Schofield talks through seven of the most inspiring drawings.

Sketches of Seating is a collaboration between Schofield, a British designer based in Copenhagen, and Rhys Kearns, art director for fashion label Norse Projects, with all proceeds going to charity Den Danske Naturfond.

Launched during 3 Days of Design, the book aims to answer the question, how do designers use sketching as a tool in the creative process?

“I think the immediacy of a quick sketch can often give more insight into a designer’s thinking than the final product,” Schofield told Dezeen.

“You quickly get a feel for the designer’s handwriting and thought process, which you might not get from an industrially produced object; I wanted to explore how other creatives approach this stage of the process.”

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There are 30 designers featured in Sketches of Seating, with a mix of established figures and rising talents.

Each was asked to send an initial sketch of a product that has since been realised, no matter how abstract or far removed. These are pictured alongside photographs of the production piece.

“Some are very similar to the original sketch, some are wildly different,” said Schofield.

“By showing the beginning and the end of the process, I hope to give a quick insight into the journey creatives go on in bringing their ideas to life.”

Read on to see the seven sketches that Schofield selected:

Charles O Job

Swiss architect and designer Charles O Job sent a pen drawing of Sketch, a flat-pack armchair that is assembled from four pieces of bent plywood.

“The chair is called Sketch, so it had to be included,” said Schofield. “It’s a lovely drawing with nice perspective.”

Michael Antrobus for Sketches of Seating

Michael Antrobus

No paper was required for this sketch by Michael Antrobus. The Copenhagen-based designer used a process of model-making to show the details of his Union lounge chair.

“Designers all interpret the concept of a sketch differently; for Michael, the starting point came by bending pieces of metal,” said Schofield.

Alberto Meda

Italian designer and engineer Alberto Meda shared a page from his sketchbook featuring a sketch he produced of MedaSlim, a chair launched by Vitra in 2004.

“The way Alberto sketches is unique, with contour lines giving 3D form,” said Schofield. “I also love the way you see through to the next page.”

Rui Pereira and Ryosuke Fukusada in Sketches of Seating

Rui Pereira and Ryosuke Fukusada

A series of neat sketches explore the different details of Anza, a bench designed by collaborating duo Rui Pereira, from Portugal, and Ryosuke Fukusada, from Japan, for Danish brand Please Wait to be Seated.

“You can see what they might have been thinking and how the project might have gone in a different direction,” said Schofield.

Chris L Halstrøm

Danish furniture designer Chris L Halstrøm revealed the design process behind the Vent stool, a design launched by Skagerak in 2015, by sharing a page of written notes and doodles.

“Chris said she actually writes more than she draws,” said Schofield. “This is her way of sketching, which I think is really interesting.”

John Tree for Sketches of Seating

John Tree

A page of sketch drawings from London-based designer John Tree explores the component assembly for HD Chair, a task chair produced by British brand VG&P.

“You get a good sense of how he was thinking through drawing,” said Schofield.

Laura Bilde and Thibaut Allgayer in Sketches of Seating

Laura Bilde and Thibaut Allgayer

The sketch shared by Copenhagen-based designers Laura Bilde and Thibaut Allgayer reveals how their three-legged SCH chair, produced by Carl Hansen & Søn for a Copenhagen school, was previously imagined with a horseshoe-shaped base.

“It’s a good example of a first idea and how different that is from the final piece,” said Schofield. “It gives a good insight into the journey this design took.”

Sketches of Seating launched during 3 Days of Design, which took place at venues across Copenhagen from 12 to 14 June. See Dezeen Events Guide for more architecture and design events around the world.

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