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Cool Hunting Presents The Washington Collection for Knoll™ by David Adjaye

David Adjaye Discusses the Process of Designing His First Furniture Collection

September 4, 2013

Cool Hunting Video: David Adjaye for Knoll from Cool Hunting on Vimeo.

The Washington Collection for Knoll™, a new collection of chairs and coffee tables by architect David Adjaye, is showcased in a new video from Cool Hunting, a blog that focuses on innovations in design, technology, art and culture.

In the video, Adjaye details the experience of designing his first furniture collection, demonstrating a “very clear vision of his relationship with structures and design,” notes Cool Hunting.

The collection includes Washington Skeleton™, an aluminum side chair; Washington Skin™, a nylon side chair; and Washington Corona™, a limited-edition bronze coffee table.

“It’s not a visual language. It’s an attitude and an approach to research, to materiality, to history,” Adjaye says of designing the Washington Skeleton™.

The cast aluminum chair, available with a copper finish, is the collection’s signature piece. “In a way it’s an exo-skeleton,” Adjaye says. “It’s an armature that gives you comfort.”

Adjaye explains that when Knoll design director Benjamin Pardo approached him about designing a chair, he was hesitant having never designed furniture before. “He [Pardo] said, ‘Look, don’t worry about making a chair. Just make a series of studies of things that stimulate you and then we’ll got through a process and see from there what can be produced.’”

“This is a very, very different thing from just making objects,” Adjaye says.

Adjaye designed the coffee table to “have a visual power. The form actually helps us to make the structure,” he says.

Comparing the difference between designing buildings and furniture, Adjaye said: “Architecture is specific to a location and you know where it is and what it’s doing. Your furniture can be anywhere. It’s actually used by everyone. They touch it every day, they sit on it, they don’t think about it. It’s just their background. And there’s something very powerful about that and very rewarding.“

For Adjaye, designing is about “trying to find specific conditions and to amplify them and to make them aesthetic, to make them visual, to make them potential for being part of our world is what I’m super interested in.”

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Washington Skeleton - Aluminum Side Chair
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Washington Skin™ - Nylon Side Chair
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Washington Corona™ - Bronze Coffee Table