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Design by Don Chadwick, 2009.
Don Chadwick's Spark™ Chair with Seat Pad has a unique personality, lightness of scale and bright pops of color that bring energy to a space. Spark™ is made using an innovative co-injection molding process that delivers light, sturdy and easy-to-clean chairs. The Seat Pad features highly-resilient polyurethane foam, a textile cover and steel fasteners fasteners for a comfortable, solid fit. Also offered in Spark Stacking Chair without Seat Pad.
Spark™ Chairs are easy to pick up and move around, and most importantly, comfortable. Stacks up to 6 units high on the floor and 10 units high on the Spark™ dolly (available by special order). Wall-saver design, integral glides and stacking spacers protect finishes. Spark is GREENGUARD certified and tested and approved for use by individuals weighing up to 300 lbs. The chair with seat pad is recommended for indoor use only.
Recipient of the Editors' Choice Award, Best of NeoCon, June 2009, USA and GOOD DESIGN Award, Chicago Athenaeum, 2009, USA.
Seat Pad is recommended for indoor use only. Covered by Knoll's 24-hour, 7 days a week, 5 year warranty. Spark™ dolly and ganging device available by special order.
Material(s): Integrally colored, textured, glass reinforced polypropylene
Designer: Don Chadwick
Don Chadwick isn't one of those designers who say that their "real" studio is in their mind. Chadwick's real studio is in Santa Monica, thank you, and anyway, he prefers to call it "an experimental lab."
"We're set up to get dirty and take chances," he says.
His lab apparatus includes saws and grinders, lathes and drill presses and vises--and not one computer-numerically-controlled anything. Computer technology, Chadwick allows, is great for some things, but when he hears someone suggest that a new chair could have just as effectively been designed by computer, he says, politely, "You're out of your mind!"
"The only way to be sure a chair is comfortable is to actually sit in it and make changes along the way," Chadwick says. "A computer can't deal with the subtleties of chair design. Good chairs are too complex."
Too complex? Yes, and not just for computers.
"Most industrial designers don't take furniture design seriously," he says. "They're not trained to get into that kind of detail. It's too personal, too much like surgery. And besides, you have to be in love with this kind of work."
Chadwick's love for furniture design goes back to his childhood, when his cabinetmaker grandfather taught him how to use the tools of the trade--hand tools that required skill, precision, and patience. Later, unlike the other industrial design students at UCLA in the mid-1950s, he focused on furniture. And after hearing a Charles and Ray Eames lecture there, Chadwick was convinced: Furniture offered designers, even industrial designers, the chance to use materials in new, innovative ways--and to make a "real difference" in people's lives.
He attributes at least some of this optimism to the "LA recklessness" he's experienced as a lifelong resident of Southern California. "There's less fear of failure out here, so people are more apt to take risks. It's fertile ground for innovation."
For over two decades now, Chadwick has had a partner in recklessness. "Herman Miller isn't afraid to take chances on new ideas. That's why the company's been successful for so long, and that's one reason why it's challenging to work for them."
The Santa Monica-Zeeland connection continues, the experimental lab whirling with the sounds of belt sanders and power saws. That, after all, is what real design studios do.
Award for Design Excellence, ID magazine, 1970, 71, 73, 74
The Governor's Award, Design Michigan Exhibition, 1977
IBD and IDSA awards for casegoods, 1980
IBD Gold Award for Equa chair, 1984
Time magazine, Design: Best of the Decade for Equa chair, 1990
- From HermanMiller.comView other products by Don Chadwick
Knoll believes good design is good business. A commitment to modern design has yielded a comprehensive portfolio of furniture products and textiles designed to provide enduring value and help clients shape their workspaces with imagination and vision. Recognized as a design leader worldwide, Knoll products are exhibited in major art museums, with more than 40 pieces in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York.
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