As we enter the new year I wanted to start thinking about my creative process more and enter a new spirit of research and enquiry which I’d like to share. As I have been commissioned to make four new Verpozen chairs, my thoughts turn to seating and posture, which in turn leads me to looking at some great designers. I am so impressed by the Scandinavian legendary designer Hans Wegner, and found the book Hans J Wegner by Jens Bernsen an invaluable resource in learning more about the process that he used to make his chairs. They are as follows:
1. Sketching ideas
Wegner always started with rough sketches of an idea, leaving details and technical precision till later. He sketched the chair from the front, the side and the top.
2. Small model
Based on his sketches he made small models which were 5 times smaller than the full-size chair. Always using the same material for the model as he intended for the chair he made them with detailed precision. This meant that photographs of these models would give a very good impression of what the final full-size piece would look like. This process also helped him understand future production issues for making the full-size chair.
3. Full-size chair
He would then make a full-size chair, which he would tweak until it was just right. This is the point where all the detail would be resolved to the point of precision, with a chair small adjustments could have a big impact on comfort for the user. This stage could involve making multiple versions, or redoing parts. He believed it was important to do this stage cheaply and quickly because if it was expensive and time consuming he would be less likely to make the effort to do it again if there was anything that needed to be changed.
4. Full-scale drawings
The final stage of the process involved doing full-size drawings of the chair. These drawings needed to be completely accurate and full-scale so that the craftsmen would have all the information they needed to make the chair.