– Ross Lovegrove, speaking to Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Design Watch members at the Bernhardt Design showcase, May 17, 2014, at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City
Ross Lovegrove was asked why he chose wood for his new “Anne” chair design. His statement about the “timeless” nature of the medium resonates thoroughly with us at Dockwood Furniture; it is at the core of our approach: letting wood carry on with its functionality by re-adapting it in a way that lets its functional narrative be continued.
Interestingly, however, Lovegrove’s approach to wood is almost diametrically the opposite of ours. He loves a challenge, as he “extends the boundaries of technology,” and “pushes the . . . process to the limits,” whether with plywood in the “Orbit” chair,” or walnut in the “Anne” chair.
[Thanks to Bernhardt Design – http://www.bernhardtdesign.com]
Narrative / ‘naretiv / > n. a spoken or written account of connected events; a story . . .
– New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition (2005)
The narrative for our furniture is as old as mankind itself. From the time that we became “humankind,” we had to relate to and with Nature to survive. Man’s use of wood is a story that begins at the beginning, and is continued with our work. The basic plotline is: From Nature to Man, back to Nature, then back to Man again. So, wood is cut in a forest and used by Man to create something, then and it wears out and is reclaimed by Nature. The Dockwood concept is to again reclaim, and up-cycle, that material, to keep the story going.
Boat docks are simple, and rough in their construction, but strong. Time-tested engineering makes them last as long as possible. But when they are ultimately destroyed by storms or worn out by ceaseless wave action and the drilling of shipworms, they continue their role as characters in the Man/Nature narrative.
The narrative is continued in the fabrication of each piece of our furniture. The wood remembers its history, which is perpetuated in the rough joins and exposed fasteners in our work. We don’t try to force the material to be something it never was. And if you sit on one our benches, or run your hand over the surface of the wood, both smoothed and roughened by decades of use and wear, riddled by the thousands of shipworms, you yourself become part of the narrative.
It’s said that a good story bears repetition. We feel that ours is as universal and timeless as Nature itself.