My goal for the design of the Atmos chair was to re-introduce into the design vocabulary references to nature, which modernism pretty much banished. Let me explain: Modern design is rational, mathematical and machine oriented. Lines are for the most part geometric: line-arc-line etc. Witness for instance Breuer’s Cesca Chair, and Rietveld’s Red-Blue chair. This design ethic continues through modern design today. The style/iconography is machine oriented and anti-nature. The idea behind modernism was to rise up above the brutishness of nature; to distance ourselves from its many random trepidations. This seemed to work fine until people like Rachel Carson began to notice cracks in the foundations of modern civilization as we built on the bedrock of the natural world.
I wanted to design a chair that embraced the natural world; a super resource efficient chair. The Atmos design is the result. It uses rotary maple super efficiently. In fact, waste is just 10% from tree to chair. I designed this about the time I started using webbing for seating sourced from postindustrial stocks of automotive seat belt material, so I used the webbing. For the ply-bending I used the molds I made for the Windows of the World in NYC. The frame is very lightweight. Its lines are gently undulating bezier curves, recalling cabriole legs and art nouveau. The Shaker design ethic was also a source of inspiration. Shaker chairs used webbed seats, and had a bias for utility and a practical simplicity. Notwithstanding, Shaker design has its flourishes. Witness the finials at the tops of the chairs. These details inspired the “ears” at the top of the chair. I think the Atmos is a successful resolution to the goals I set for myself.
The Atmos chairs come in a variety of wood stains. On top of that we apply 4 coats of waterborne lacquer. The webbing comes in a variety of colors, with black being the most prevalent. To pick your finishes and webbing colors, go here.