WORDS Gina Dionisio
BHC School of Design recently held a graduate showcase at the Inova Concept Store in Cape Town, featuring innovative ‘future forward’ chair designs by several graduating interior design students.
If there was one word to describe the chair designs at BHC School of Design‘s graduate showcase, it would be ‘showstoppers’. The showcase not only featured impressive chair prototypes but also highlighted the creativity and skill of our emerging local design talent. Here, we’ve rounded up a few exciting prototypes which caught our eye.
The Synergy Seat
The concept for the Synergy Seats, a duo of chairs aptly titled ‘Ying’ and ‘Yang’, was sparked by the balance found in circular design and interconnecting opposites. “I wanted to incorporate circles in the design of this prototype because it’s a design element I’ve carried through all of my projects this year,” says Sarah Coburn. “My favourite part of these chairs is a structural element you can’t see – the base of each seat has another circular design with little elements that connect to each leg for support.”
Inspired by the concept ‘cool, calm and collected’, Elizmarie Bezuidenhout’s Ontspannn lounger was created with relaxation in mind. The piece was crafted by hand – “I used morocco wood stained with wax, leather and brass pins to create the framework of the chair. There are no mechanical fittings – it’s all joinery,” says Elizmarie.
Inspired by the architectural lines and geometry of stairs, the Tensioned chair by Joshua de Sousa Coutinho unites aesthetics, functionality and comfort. The framework of the prototype is an impressive example of engineering. “The chair dynamically responds to your weight when you sit in it thanks to the ‘tension’ created between the single string of weaved rope and brass rods in the framework,” he says.
The Ninth is an exploration of the number 9 and the colour brown. “The number 9 means to ‘live and learn’ which to me represents the entire process of creating and manufacturing this chair,” says Abby Louwrens of her design. “The project taught me a lot about the ins and outs of the manufacturing process”.
The Roots chair is an ode to South Africa’s heritage in both name and form. “For my design, I was inspired by the South African flag and what each colour represents. There is a symbolic meaning behind each design element: The inverted ‘Y’ represents the green of our flag and the fertility of the land, the white reimpies represent peace, and the brass ‘X’ is an ode to the mineral wealth of South Africa,” explains Tammy Theron.
For student Yolanda Vermeulen the Knots bench, made from woven rope suspended from a steel frame, is all about human connection. “For me, the weaving represents the mingling of ideas and perspectives. It’s about seeing the connections and finding unity in diversity,” she says.
Our partner in our BHC x VISI Online Interior Design Courses is the renowned BHC School of Design. If you are looking to begin your career with a strong foundation of decorating basics and finishes, or you simply want to enhance your design skills with furniture and lighting design, then these courses can be the perfect platform for you to hone your skills.