Shin built the Whale Chair using a combination of bent plywood and stainless steel to mimic the characteristic features of a whale’s tail are defined through the smooth curves of the backrest.
“I aim to create emotional products,” Hongik University graduate Shin explained. “[I took] a motif from nature and tried to melt it in a rational and aesthetic way within the category of furniture.”
Stained with Sumi ink, an east Asian ink typically used for calligraphy and brush painting, the heavy grain beech plywood was used to reinforce the whale motif and mimic the texture of whale skin.
“The combination of wood and metal creates a warm feeling while creating a calm and sophisticated atmosphere,” Shin told Dezeen.
To achieve the whale-like silhouette, the chair’s wooden elements are divided into three individual pieces. The fin backrest is split in two and held together by steel piping, while the seat is designed to comfortably surround its user.
“A combination of wood and metal creates a warm feeling while creating a calm and sophisticated atmosphere.”
Designed with simplicity in mind, Shin created two iterations of the chair – one with polished steel legs and the other finished with a black powder coating.
Both were intended to harmonise with the warm properties of the beech backrest.
“The shape of the legs is designed in a simple and rational structure to harmonise with the conceptual feeling of the backrest and seat,” explained the designer.
Other nature-inspired furniture includes Swedish studio Front’s collaboration with Moroso to create mossy-rock formations, and Erez Nevi Pana’s designs made from salt and soil.
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