Alex Hellum grew up in Norway and now lives and works in the UK. He is particularly inspired by observing domestic life and exploring the honest use of materials, and believes that design exists to make daily life more enjoyable. His ‘Jot’ desk for Joined + Jointed was awarded a British Design Guild Mark in 2014. In his collaboration with Chelsia Lau, Hellum created a chair for ‘calm, distilled moments’ that can become a focus for memories as the chair is passed on through generations.
Contemplation, memory and posterity – and all the emotions embedded in these concepts - were the key drivers behind the creation of C-Seat, a chair that creates a space for its user to think and dream. While these states may be associated with sleeping or relaxation, Chelsia Lau was clear that she had in mind a piece of furniture that inspired more energetic, spirited activity: thought, conversation and enjoyment; the kind of endeavours that one might have seen conducted on opium couches in years past.
In outlining her hope for a timeless design, Lau specified certain guiding principles: light and shadow; rhythm; surprise; craftsmanship; well-being.
Responding to Lau’s brief, Alex Hellum has developed a chair with a fluid form, juxtaposing gentle curves and organic shapes with geometric elements. With plenty of visual interest, the design itself inspires reflection and conversation. It has compact proportions but exudes a firm presence; it is comfortable without inducing lethargy.
As an acknowledgement of Lau’s philosophy that functional objects should create deep, emotional bonds with their user, Hellum has introduced a delightful device – a removable slab-like wood seat. The purpose of this element is for each user to carve their name or a message on it and so, as the chair is passed on from generation to generation, there is a record for posterity. This simple and profoundly meaningful gesture gives the piece a priceless value. At its launch, the underside of the seat will bear the carving - CL+AH-2019 – the initials of the collaborating designers, and the date.
Dimensions: 86W x 48D x 65H cm
Design: Chelsia Lau X Alex Hellum
Production: Joined + Jointed