(jiří macek) The Table Bench Chair, which the prominent British brand of Established and Sons presented in Milan last week, is a real hybrid. Sam Hecht, from the Industrial Facility studio, develops both intuition and the mathematical principles of our behavior in a remarkably simple connection.
Sam Hecht explains that he came upon the idea of interconnecting a bench, a table, and a chair in the Tokyo underground when he noticed that each wagon contained benches with parts separated by a different color, as if the bench had been stripped off its skin at some places. At first, he thought it was a decoration; however, when he asked his Japanese friends about it, he found out that the matter has a profound meaning, even though it may sound ridiculous at first. The first passenger to enter the wagon allegedly decides to sit down on the stripe bearing a different color (or in its immediate vicinity). However, he/she never sits on both colors at the same time. Thus, a certain code of sitting on a bench is created. The size and the location of the differently colored stripes causes people to sit on a bench in a well-proportioned manner, preventing the occurrence of seats too small or too big that would limit the capacity of the benches. The systematic way of thinking of the Japanese is simply unbeatable.
However, this subliminal law inspired Sam Hecht to design an object that seems to break rules, an object whose function is not clearly defined - a cross-breed of a chair, a bench, and a table. His experience from the Tokyo underground endowed his intention with a clear image. A wooden board can serve both as a bench, as well as a table. The backrest, with armrests rising from the pedestal, nevertheless, marks out the first space to sit. The rest is up to the user, who decides to sit on the board or to utilize it as a table. Such a concept of a bench is very practical for the public buildings for which the Table Bench Chair is determined. In these spaces, we usually need place to put things down, to fill in something, etc., to which the comfort or discomfort of hybrid seating corresponds. However, ascetic seating is not amiss in government spaces, waiting rooms, and reception areas. The Table Bench Chair brings, apart from mathematical logic, select aesthetics, humor, and playfulness into these impersonal places.
Sam Hecht co-founded the Industrial Facility studio in London and Tokyo with Kim Colin. Table Bench Chair is, after lights and clocks, their third design for Established & Sons. One can find the works of Sam Hecht and his colleagues in the catalogues of Muji, Yamaha, Whirlpool, and Hermann Miller, for which they designed the popular Enchord Table and Storage. Apart from furniture, they also design household appliances and electronic devices – for instance, the great household telephone for Muji. For more information on Industrial Facility, see www.industrialfacility.co.uk.
Established & Sons is represented in the Czech Republic by Konsepti.
Table Bench Chair love seat, Established & Sons, design: Sam Hecht / Industrial Facility