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THE FURNITURE OF CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH

PRODUCT ANALYSIS - 2

V. Ryan 2012 - 2015

 

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Product analysis involves looking closely at existing products and identifying how they work, the materials they are made from, the industrial processes used to manufacture them and their key features. It may also involve the designer asking the general public or potential customers what they think of the product. The aim of product analysis is to help the designer develop even better designs and products in the future.

A ‘Hill House’ Chair, designed by Mackintosh, is seen opposite. Study it carefully and then complete the analysis, under the subheadings:

 
 
 
HILL HOUSE CHAIR - 1903
 
SIZE: HEIGHT 1400mm X DEPTH 35mm X WIDTH 42mm
 
 
 
 
MATERIALS:
Name a suitable natural wood and explain why it is suitable for the manufacture of this chair.
 
This chair could be manufactured from most natural woods. Ebonised sycamore was used by Mackintosh to manufacture some of his chairs. Sycamore can be shaped and worked to form a variety of joints. When ebonised, the wood looks bold, dark and creates a strong image. Sycamore is durable and resists knocks and general everyday handling. Although a relatively expensive wood, it is ideal for a quality piece of furniture such as this chair.
 
STABILITY:
Does the chair look stable? Unlikely to topple over when sat on? Explain your answer.
 
The chair looks extremely stable. It has four legs, spaced apart to ensure that the chair is unlikely to topple over when used. The high back supports the upper body, preventing the user from leaning back too far. The chair is well made, and the latticed back is probably mortise and tenoned, provides immense overall strength.
 
ERGONOMICS AND COMFORT:
Is the chair ergonomically designed and does it look comfortable?
 
The chair has been designed to be comfortable to use. The high back supports the user, so that he/she sits upright at a table, in a comfortably seating position. It has been designed with the height of a table in mind. This ensures that a person sat in the chair can use items on the table without stretching, as the chairs height is relative to the table top height. The width and depth of the chair is designed for the average person.
 
STYLE:
Describe some of its features. Do you think it is a stylish chair? Explain your answer.
 
This is a stylish chair manufactured in 1903. Art Nouveau chairs of the time were highly decorative. This Mackintosh chair has many modernist features. It is plain and simple in style and yet has enough features, such as the lattice work on the back rest. It is a minimalist design, well manufactured by skilled craftsmen. This is not a mass produced piece of furniture, but made for a single customer. The chair has been designed to complement the room in which it will be installed.
 
 
 
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