These days in the shop are long and a bit scattered. Pieces waiting to be finished, shipped, designed or cataloged seem to be everywhere. Beyond all the physical work going on, I am fascinated, as usual, by the geometry and physics involved in chairs and sitting. The more that I explore the possibilities for chair design, the more that I realize it is still an open question.
After spending time with Galen Cranz, I have had a nagging need to get more out of my chairs. She challenged my notions of comfort and the way that we use chairs. (thanks to her I'm sitting on a perch as I type this) To her, the notions of aesthetics, materials and durability take a back seat to the simple idea that chairs must fit a body in motion to be healthy, not just a body at rest. Much observations has shown me that any seated position must afford the sitter the ability to shift their weight and balance easily to be comfortable for any considerable length of time.
Recently I've been spending a lot of time at the web site of Peter Opsvik. Simpy put, it's amazing. You may know Opsvik as the designer of the kneeling chair. His web site has an astounding amount of works, ideas and information on it. Unlike me, who is largely driven by the materials and techniques that I enjoy working, Opsvik is a free floating thinker willing the employ whatever it takes to engage the human body in motion and rest.
While I am still bound by my joy in woodworking, Opsviks work challenges me to ask for more from my efforts, and lucky for me, his ideas are out there to help.