Achair, a stylish seat produced by the ancient technique of bending wood with vapor, was recently honored in this year’s Wood Awards in the “innovation” category. Hand-made by British furniture designer David Colwell, the Achair is made from fast and locally grown Ash held together with recycled copper plumbing pipe rivets. The aim of The Wood Awards is to ¨recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation in wood,” which they say is ¨the world’s most naturally sustainable material.¨

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Green Design Competitions,green furniture,Green Materials,david colwell, achair, steam bending, ash wood,locally sourced wood,recycled copper, wood awards 2010

There are many sustainable aspects to celebrate about this curvy wooden seat. It is made from fast growing Ash (sourced from a local, sustainable forest) that remarkably strong and tough, and absorbs more atmospheric carbon than any other tree (beside Douglas fir, which absorbs about the same level).

The wood curving method of steam bending, which was traditionally used for building bows and boats, uses less energy, time and money than conventional kiln drying. It also produces less noise and is particularly well suited to live structures. A new generation band saw blade was used, avoiding the planning, thickening and jointing of most parts of the chair. This simply means that less machinery is required in the workshop and more craftsmanship skills are used. And last but not least, the surprising tubular rivet solution is made from recycled copper plumbing that provides a see through jointing system for great flexibility, strength and elegance.

+ David Colwell

+ Wood Awards

Photos: © David Colwell