The Atmos Rocker is exquisite. The design and craftsmanship is world class. It’s even comfortable. In fact, the Philadelphia Museum of Art acquired one for their design collection.
Like all Danko designs, the Atmos Rocker represents a narrative of sustainability that challenges current notions of design. The idea is to value skills and craftsmanship, and to optimize materials if they all are precious resources.
To design a rocker is the ultimate challenge for every woodworker. Adding to the challenge is to make a statement about craftsmanship, resource use and repurposing. Rockers are inherently difficult to design because they have two distinct centers of balance: One when it is occupied, and one when it is not. This means it must be comfortable when sitting in it, and beautifully balanced when no one is sitting in it. The repurposed seat belts used for this design take advantage of the belts minimal weight and strength to attractively balance the rocker when it is not occupied.
Some interesting features of the rocker:
Note how the front leg arc extends beyond the rocking arc. This functions to make the chair stable when entering and exiting, so people with balance problems can easily use it.
A detail that becomes a conundrum when noticed is the question of how the belts are attached to the frame. The answer to this question is a complicated and time consuming method to attach the belts. However, it’s a detail that greatly contributes to the elegance and strength of the design.
Seat belts are extremely strong and will last decades without bucketing out. They are also easy to clean. We use them every day, but a closer look reveals a weave that creates a moire effect, changing their color depending on how the light hits it.
The Atmos rocker has the size and comfort of a lounge chair yet weighs only 22 lbs. A 300 lb. person can sit in it without a problem. How can this be? Because the side frame, though bent, acts as a triangle, the most efficient and sturdy of structural elements. The belts themselves are structural, since they are tensioned. The seat/back assembly is a tensegrity structure, with the belts actually holding it together.
This design demonstrates the Danko vision of craftsmanship and resource optimization.
The seat belts are a post industrial material. They are remnants from the automotive industry. Many colors are available. The frame is made from prime grade FSC certified bent-ply Maple and an array of finishes are available.