‘bamboo windsor chair’ by bo reudler + olav bruin

the ‘bamboo windsor chair’ is an exploration into the inherent qualities of the natural material bamboo to create mass products that are individually unique. it re-examines the reputation and aesthetic of the sustainable wood through a contemporary interpretation of the all-time western classic windsor chair, executed with thai craftsmanship and materials, whereby east meets west. conceived by dutch designer bo reudler and bamboo architect olav bruin, the design is made using a species of thai bamboo called ‘pai sang’ (dendrocalamus strictus) – noted for its strength and solid structure – in combination with bamboo plywood and rattan. due to the nature of the bamboo stems, each chair is different from the next, despite them being constructed by the same means.

TIFF award 2012: bamboo windsor chair by bo reudler + olav bruin various views of the ‘bamboo windsor chair’

the bow (in the back-rest) is made from bent rattan, whereas the spindles, legs, middle and side stretchers are fabricated from ‘dendrocalamus strictus’ bamboo stalks. the piece of furniture is assembled using mortise-and-tenon joint which is typically used in bamboo furniture. the seating surface is made from 4 cm thick bamboo plywood which is composed of two parts that are glued together at an angle to ensure greater comfort, its shape referencing the sculpted classical windsor seat.

TIFF award 2012: bamboo windsor chair by bo reudler + olav bruin the chair is assembled using mortise-and-tenon joints which are typically used in bamboo furniture

TIFF award 2012: bamboo windsor chair by bo reudler + olav bruin to finish off the bamboo, the top layer needs to be removed by means of sandblasting, which is then covered in a natural lacquer coating

as a finishing, the design is coated with colored lacquer based on a sustainable natural oil. to apply the paint, the smooth top layer of the bamboo is first removed by sanding or sandblasting. this particular technique was developed during reudler and bruin’s earlier ‘haute bamboo‘ collection made from ‘bambusa ventricosa’, a type of bamboo wood which is caused by a rare mutation which results in particularly bulbous stalks. the proposed pigments for the ‘bamboo windsor chair’ are carmine read, pure white and black, referencing the traditional colors used to paint the iconic windsor chairs.

TIFF award 2012: bamboo windsor chair by bo reudler + olav bruin proposed colors for the ‘bamboo windsor chair’: carmine red, pure white and jet black

the ‘bamboo windsor chair’ is the winning design in the ‘home interiors’ category of the TIFF award 2012, whose theme ‘inside outside’ celebrates designs in which aesthetics and the environment share an equal role. 3025 designers from 87 different countries participated in the international design competition, which was organized by designboom in collaboration with the thailand department of export promotion (DEP), ministry of commerce, royal thai government, and TIFF – thailand international furniture fair.

the competition catalogue illustrating the 100 shortlisted entries is available for press, VIP and professional visitors at the TIFF – thailand international furniture fair in bangkok. you can also browse the online version of the catalogue here. see the original TIFF award 2012 call for entry.

TIFF award 2012: bamboo windsor chair by bo reudler + olav bruin clockwise from top left: olav bruin, mrs. boonsong triyapirom, thailand’s minister of commerce and bo reudler; bo reudler explaining the concept behind the ‘bamboo windsor chair’ to members of the thai government; olav bruin, mrs. boonsong triyapirom, a representative of the american hardwood design camp and reudler at the TIFF award 2012 presentation; opening ceremony of the awards. images © designboom

during the past year, the thai furniture industry was faced by major floods that swept through most parts of the country. as a result, the growth of the country’s furniture export decreased from the previous year. however, since the water has receded, there have been noticeable signs of recovery. the initial part of 2012 has indicated growth both in asian countries and emerging markets of high-potential countries such as japan, indonesia, malaysia, india, south korea, china, russia and the united arab emirates for the industry.

TIFF award 2012: bamboo windsor chair by bo reudler + olav bruin olav bruin and bo reudler discussing their winning design with mrs. boonsong teriyapirom, thailand’s minister of commerce at TIFF 2012 image © designboom

highlights of this year’s thailand international furniture fair encompassed exhibitions that demonstrated the technical capabilities of thai furniture designers. they included the eco design in thailand (T-style), the design excellence award, the american hardwood design camp, and the TIFF awards 2012 curated by designboom.

TIFF award 2012: bamboo windsor chair by bo reudler + olav bruin olav bruin (left) and bo reudler (right) image © designboom

TIFF award 2012: bamboo windsor chair by bo reudler + olav bruin ‘haute bamboo’ by bo reudler and olav bruin

bo reudler bo reudler specializes in experimenting with the intrinsic characteristics of natural building materials, using them in combination with new and traditional fabrication techniques, transforming mass standard products into limited edition, unique objects.

‘bamboo windsor chair’ is a continued investigation of bo reudler and olav bruin’s first collaborative furniture series the ‘haute bamboo’ collection which embraced the organic aesthetic of bamboo, translating it into a set of three functional pieces: a chair, table and mirror. see designboom’s coverage of the ‘haute bamboo’ collection.

olav bruin the dutch architect works for dutch firm 24H architecture. his practice focuses on looking at architecture as a sensitive organism within its selected landscape, paying close attention to local materials and respecting a site’s surrounding natural conditions. bruin can be considered a bamboo architect as a result of his extensive work with the wood, bringing his expertise to this collaboration with reudler. bruin lived for two years in thailand, working extensively on a children’s activity and learning centre at six senses‘ soneva kiri resort in koh kood, creating a large structural bamboo dome for the resort. stay tuned for more coverage on bruin’s bamboo architecture practice!

TIFF award 2012: bamboo windsor chair by bo reudler + olav bruin children’s activity and learning centre, six senses soneva kiri resort, koh hood, thailand by 24H architecture image courtesy of 24H architecture

also earning top honors at the TIFF 2012 award ceremony in bangkok were ‘koh seating system’ by israeli designer eyal soodai in the category of ‘hotel and hospitality and ‘A-bed’ by china-born, finland-based designer huang chao in the category of ‘pool and outdoor patio’. the ‘raindrop xylophone’ by south korean-born, france-based designer heesung baek won an honorable mention.