Marjan van Aubel & James Michael Shaw
The Well Proven Chair, 2012
Wood foam (saw dust, organic gum), ash wood, H 75 x B 45 x D 45 cm
Photo: Petr Krejčí, © Marjan van Aubel & James Shaw
Sawdust is actually a powder with no form. When resin is added, it becomes wooden foam that can be shaped. And it is very durable. On the one hand it is smoothed out to make seats and backrests, and on the other to amorphous rounded shapes that are placed and fixed between the bars.
James Michael Shaw and Marjan van Aubel met while studying at the Royal College of Art in London. Starting with an accidental discovery made by van Aubel in the college workshops, they began their collaboration that led to the Well Proven Chair. The chair was first developed for a project run by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) exploring a lifecycle analysis of wooden furniture while the two designers were still students. Since the two designers graduated in 2012 and 2013, the project has gone on to achieve international acclaim and has been exhibited worldwide in institutions from MoMA to the V&A to the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum. Since the project was first launched with AHEC the pair have been continuing their research into this new material and have gone on to add a range of stools and a chaise-longue to the collection. Items from the project have been acquired by various prestigious collections including MoMA and the Vitra Design Museum.