work / info 
Eric Kirwin, Industrial Designer
2020




Sunday Chair

The Sunday Chair is a new interpretation of an iconic form that has been designed for the modern domestic environment. Rocking chairs have a nearly universal, emotionally positive connection to relaxation and comfort, both for soothing and for leisurely pastimes. They figure in our warmest associations, across lifespans, from newborns to grandparents.

Facilitating and an sense of informality and comfort, The Sunday rocker is everything that a modern rocking chair should be. Rocking offers a new catalyst for comfort and a meaningful destination for unwinding.


Materials

Powder Coated steel
Plywood Shell
Steel Hardware
Polyurethane Foam
Upholstery Fabric

Processes

Metal Bending
Vacuum forming
Upholstery























I developed 4 criteria that drove the design development of the Sunday Chair.

The chair must:

-supports the body
-provide a smooth rocking motion that requires little effort from the users
-communicate feelings of comfort and relaxation through materiality and form
-feel at home in a contemporary setting
Upon entering the early ideation phase I wanted to cast a wide net and explore a large range of concepts. The initial sketches are gestural and rough but exploratory in nature. I was able to consider a large number of ideas without overdeveloping concepts.









Expanding on my favorite sketch concepts, I began to roughly model  forms and explore variation. The models helped me gain a better understanding of the rough concepts, having them now realized in 3 dimensions.

I was particularly interested in developing a form that was fresh and new without completely abandoning the general design language used; the rails and the seat.  Through each model developed I was able to push closer to satisfying my design requirements.















For the next  phase of prototyping I constructed a plywood test chair to help determine the correct dimensions. I was able to draw a 2d profile of my model chair in fusion 360 which I used as a template to cut out the ply. Once assembled, I was able to tune the rocker, carefully adjusting the height and pitch of the armrests, rails, and seat.

This first full scale model taught me so much about the adjustments that I needed to make in order for my rocking chair to be as comfortable as possible. I would clamp and re-clamp marking each adjustment until I was satisfied with how everything felt.













Once final dimesions were determined from the test chair I could construct a plywood shell to serve as the mounting point for the frame. The plywood shell is vacuum formed and then cut to size. With this shell I could test the mounting points for the hardware and see the how the overal composition of the chair looks full scale. 















Front Assembly 

Rear Assembly