988 Chair


Exploring the tension between comfort and seeming discomfort.
By Jeff Miller
Pages: 38-39

From the February 2010 issue #181
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Nine hundred eighty-eight screws don’t ordinarily find their way into a typical chair. But this chair was something quite different from my usual effort.

The idea for the chair arose out of a desire to find a quick and easy way to experiment with three-dimensional shapes for both chair seats and backs. I had previously used dowels to explore shapes for chair backs and seats, but this method, though very effective, didn’t allow for side to side contours. I was building a rack for musical instrument parts at the time, which had dozens of short dowel posts sticking up out of a plank of wood. On a lark, I sat down on it.

Remarkably, it wasn’t bad. How to actually adjust the shape of the surface? Cutting the dowels to various heights seemed tedious. Screws set at various heights seemed like a possible solution.

Shortly thereafter, I received a call for entries for a show entitled “Beyond Function, the Art of Furniture.” My idea for exploring seat shapes was still fresh in my mind. This, combined with the opportunity to play around a bit while developing a new piece of furniture for a show, was very exciting. It pointed toward a fairly provocative – and slightly impractical – chair. It would be perfect for the show.


From the February 2010 issue #181
Buy this issue now