Haptic Chair by Trine Kjær

Rope upholstery represents natural moss as a parasite on a bark-like chair skeleton.

With Hapic chair, Danish designer Trine Kjær helps us reconnect with our infant-like sense of discovery. Through comprehensive research, she designed a chair that references the qualities of natural materials. Cleverly employing rope as upholstery, Kjær’s Haptic Chair enhances our sense of touch.

Turning her regular design process around, Kjær began by asking how we could engage our hands rather than just our eyes. An extensive classification of natural material lead to an in-depth exploration of moss and bark. Taking pictures that express these elements’ complexity and particularity, she proceeded to identify their intensity with watercolour paintings. Inspired by Picasso’s constellation drawings, pattern analyses were translated into string motifs.

Kjær began to investigate tactility with abstract models but It wasn’t until she began sketching and making physical models, that she determined a design application for her research: a chair that draws us back to an instinctual relationship with material.

Easily malleable soap-treated oak was used to reflect the resistance of bark. The chair’s skeleton was sculpted into a soft shape that corresponds to our hand’s sensitivity. Rope was used to represent moss. Exploring different ways of knotting and wrapping, Kjær determined the right upholstery method. Similar to moss, rope acts as a parasite on the chair’s softwood base. Balancing a controlled and uncontrolled aesthetic, two contrasting materials allow for different tactile qualities.

Photos: Morten Kjær

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