samuel wilkinson suspends brace chair and offcuts inside cube
samuel wilkinson suspends brace chair and offcuts inside cube samuel wilkinson suspends brace chair and offcuts inside cube
sep 26, 2016

samuel wilkinson suspends brace chair and offcuts inside cube


‘offcut’ is samuel wilkinson studio’s installation for the london design festival for the ‘design undefined #2’ exhibition held at the clerkenwell department store. the project is set within a 3m x 3m black metal cube placed within the shop. inside the cube there are over 4,000 offcuts that have been collected from the steam bending factory and have been cut, sorted and then hung up on a clear wire. the surrounding wood is lit from the inside, creating a dynamic cocoon, ideal to present the designer’s latest work: the ‘brace’ chair.


video courtesy of samuel wilkinson




samuel wilkinson’s ‘brace’ is a contemporary chair that embraces and promotes british quality manufacturing, producing it in a factory within 100 miles of the studio and with materials that have been locally sourced. steam-bending wood is a traditional process steeped in history. it is low energy, ecological and a truly economical method for manipulating wood. it has a reduced scrap rate since smaller pieces can be bent into shape rather than machined from larger blocks. there are only a small number of skilled manufacturers who can produce steam bent products on any scale and these are expensive due to rising labour costs and the handmade discipline required.

samuel wilkinson brace chair installation london design festival designboom
4000 offcuts surround the new ‘brace chair’




the name ‘brace’ derives from the traditional arch bracing used for many classic steam-bent designs. an “arch brace” is a curved piece of wood that acts as a secondary fixing to strengthen the structure. a series of arch braces in their purest application have been used to create the chair’s minimal form, negating the need for a cross structure making it lighter, leaner and allowing the curved seat pan to appear to float in the middle of the frame.

samuel wilkinson brace chair installation london design festival designboom
three steam bent chairs float inside




‘brace’ will be made available in a variety of finishes including the matte black, cobalt blue and lime washed ash. each has a heavy sandblasted finish to highlight the solid wood construction and enhance the natural grain.

samuel wilkinson brace chair installation london design festival designboom
all the pieces were sorted, drilled and then hung on clear wire

each chair features a total of 12 bends

the chair is made up only curved components

steam-bent from local ash

the name ‘brace’ derives from the structural element found on traditional steam-bent chairs

‘brace’ chair

samuel wilkinson brace chair installation london design festival designboom
samuel wilkinson inspecting a chair part within the factory



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: juliana neira | designboom

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