Its form can be easily traced back to twentieth-century modernist design, the reflection of which can be seen in Alvar Aalto’s Paimio chair.
As modernism rejected its classical Beaux-Arts predecessor, design became more about exploration of elemental line and form, rather than ornamental decorations. Aalto’s approach is strikingly similar to the Style Suar chair through the flow of line and mass, and the counter space between them.
The chair is carved from solid koa acacia wood, native to Hawaii. If you analyze the grain from the side of the chair, you can clearly distinguish the pigmented heartwood in the centre, eventually reaching out to the rings of younger sapwood on the exterior.
The continuous circular grain seen from this angle suggests that the piece was carved from a single slab of the trunk. The variance of sapwood and hardwood within the composition of the grain gives this piece a beautiful, idiosyncratic character.
Though the beautiful koa acacia gives it texture, the Style Suar is rather minimalist in its nature. The chair has no armrests, and no protrusions of any kind besides its own singular body.
It acts almost as a single slab of wood wrapped inside itself in perfect continuity. Its curves are precisely angled and proportioned for not just ergonomic design, but visual design as well. As Artemano calls it, it’s ‘functional art’.
The craft itself is just as marvelous as its concept. As a subtle and lovely accent, the seat of the chair has a butterfly joint – a clever, and when done correctly, beautiful technique that stabilizes wood, and greatly reduces the chances of splitting, due to its shape.
Though influenced by twentieth-century design ideology, the Style Suar wood chair breathes new life into modernism through materiality and craft, and stands as a beautiful testament to the capabilities and potential of refined woodworking.
For more sophisticated design, you can check out Artemano.
All photographs provided by Artemano.
Researched and Written by Mikhail Shchupak-Katsman, Undergraduate Environmental Design, OCAD University