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Graduate Studio Craft 2

Studio Professor Mark Baechler

Rocketed from the second largest hole in the ground to the furniture mecca of Copenhagen Denmark, Arch 5505 students made their design pilgrimage this past fall. Intent on examining architecture and craft, the group explored masterfully built chairs of the post-war period and how they still hold true in contemporary contexts. With an appropriate or even obvious focus on Hans Wegner, the group visited the PP Mobler manufacturing facility who is charged with the production of the majority of his chairs, or as he called them: body holders.

Chair and Drawing by Brianne Lauzo

By observing their process (and discovering their mad-scientist-esque contraption that both electrocutes and crushes wood longitudinally so that it can be tied into a knot.) the students gained a new appreciation of the difficulties and tact required to produce a chair. Upon returning, they began the (in my opinion) impossible task of making an improvement on a chair they observed abroad. By using Wegner’s drawing style (a unique combination of 1:1 plan/elevation) the students drew, learned, examined, and subsequently built their chairs.

Chair and Drawing by Shayne Bol

Chair and Drawing by Bryce Jaekel 

At the end of the studio, everyone presented their work, seated around a communal table they also built, next to the pavillion they also built. As they all discovered chair design is no easy task, and to take it further and to build their designs left many with sore fingers and a love/hate for the body holder. While the studio’s demands on the students were in some degree monumental, I mean, come on? How do you improve a Wegner chair? The group knocked it out of the park and I do admit, there were some improvements. To see it all together, join us under their pavilion for the International Wood Educators Forum in September 2019.

Chair and Drawing by Eric Lalonde

Danish Design Trip