Atmos Rocker

The ultimate challenge for every woodworker is to design a rocker. Adding to the challenge I wanted the design to be a statement about recycling and resource use. Rockers are inherently difficult to design because they have two centers of balance: One when it is occupied and one when it is  not. It must be beautiful when no one is sitting in it, and comfortable when sitting. I wanted to use recycled seat belts for this design and used the Shaker tradition to guide me. Shaker designs are studies of simplicity and elegance. Their chairs were often belted and frugal in their use of resources. The belts minimal weight act to attractively balance this chair when it is not occupied. Seat belts are extremely strong and will last decades without bucketing out. Note how the front leg arc extends beyond the rocking arc. This functions to make the chair stable when entering and exiting, so old coots like me can easily use it. This chair is the size of a lounge chair yet weighs only 22 lbs. A true optimization of resources. A 300 lb. person can sit in it without a problem. How can this be? Because the construction is most interesting: The side frame, though bent, acts as a triangle, the most efficient and sturdy of structural elements. The belts themselves are structural, their tension make the seat/back assembly a tensegrity  structure, actually holding it together. The seat belts are a post industrial material. Many colors are available. The frame is made from prime grade bent-ply Maple. The Atmos was designed in 1999 and recently featured in a juried exhibit at the Delaware Museum of Art.

Peter Danko Designs, Inc   

PO Box 746, York, PA 17405   1.866.950.5005 

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