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Behind the design: Rock

Design Guild Mark - September 6, 2019 - 0 comments

We live in a collaborative age where experts in fields come together to explore theories and pursue ideas in the hope that this open innovation will solve issues and yield greater results than if they’d worked solo.

Increased individual and group activities carried out in modern, shared spaces require a certain degree of flexibility, privacy, and functionality.

Rock, part of the Townhall™ Collection, was designed by Yorgo Lykouria/Rainlight Studio for Allsteel to create sought-after, active enclaves that support multiple work modes and the changing postures necessary for individual or teamwork.

We spoke with Yorgo to find out more about Rock.

What initially inspired you to design Rock?

This is part of a collection of furniture called Townhall. We were thinking about the way people gather and work together in day to day life. The collection evokes natural elements that together forms an internal topology. Rock is about getting closer to the earth, sitting on a stony outcrop, or a boulder along a seafront.

Explain its concept.

The concept comes from the idea of a found element which becomes useful, like a stone that can be used as an implement. In this case, a place to sit. The external form is complete and becomes useful only by the chance occurrence of a fissure, or removal of part of the material.

How have you struck the balance between function and design with this product?

The function of a chair is to sit. That is never enough. When designing a chair, the question becomes, how to sit. In this case, it is sitting with the intention of becoming lost in a moment – to find a place of absence to alleviate boredom, even to induce boredom so that the mind has no choice but to start creating. The form also plays into the function which is to represent a chair as a natural element.

Who does Rock appeal to?

Hopefully this will appeal to everyone with a sense of humour, a sense of fun, and delight in things that are simple and just right.

How long did the design process take?

In some ways it was instantaneous, the idea springs to life. In design, it is never that simple, there are a lot of hurdles in terms of manufacturing and comfort that need to be addressed and constantly improved. The team played a great part on realising the good result we have in Rock.

What modifications did you make along the way?

The modifications had mainly to do with comfort, finding the right geometry and internal form to make the sitting position natural and pleasing – to create a sense of relief almost. There was also a challenge to find the external geometry that allows the balance of one’s weight to rock the chair without effort and to arrive at the correct position of repose. Because it is a low sitting position, there is a sense of relief; a sense that one will stay in that position for a dedicated time. Time for a conversation, for being alone, for thinking, for once.

What was the most challenging aspect of the design?

Since Rock does not have four legs as a traditional chair with a fixed position, the dynamic nature of this design was the biggest challenge. We had to find that angle of repose in consideration of the human interaction.

For more information about Yorgo, go to

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