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Gregory Buntain’s Sonderstuhl Chair

As we saw back in May, the Brooklyn design community is developing quite a reputation for local production and cooperative collaboration. Notably with regard to solid wood construction (see Benton Custom, Eric Manigian, and Bruce Marsh), the artists and artisans located in Bushwick, Dumbo, et. al. seem to thrive on this open and productive environment. And none among them are more laudatory of the locale than Brave Space Design, a consortium of artists and designers focused on producing modern and playful pieces for home and office.

Sonderstuhl. Designed by Gregory Buntain.

Relying on the smaller venue of Brooklyn to attract designers with similar influences and therefore a similar aesthetic, Brave Space is able to stay local while also going global: “These ‘specialized communities’ of designers allow us to remain a local business in Brooklyn while using New York City as a portal to the larger global community.” The latest offering by one of the company’s mainstays—designer Gregory Buntain—conforms to all of the above: the many lines of his solid wood Sonderstuhl are slim, yet strong; striking, yet eminently functional; possessed of a singular and unusual aesthetic as well as a worldly appeal. gregory-buntain-s-sonderstuhl-chair-large gregory-buntain-s-sonderstuhl-chair-large2 gregory-buntain-s-sonderstuhl-chair-large3 gregory-buntain-s-sonderstuhl-chair-large4 Buntain—fresh from the Pratt Institute as well as the Bauhaus Universitat, and winner of 2008’s Target Design and Design Within Reach Awards—seems to be short on words but long on ambition, never a bad quality in one who builds things. About Sonderstuhl, he simply says, “a chair designed to fulfill an overdue promise to my inspiration, motivation and intention. Jumping from a simple side profile sketch, slats were used for the seating elements to provide contoured comfort while keeping it lightweight.” The slats, centerpiece of the piece as well as structural lynchpin—provide an arresting visual axis. In league with both Dima Loginoff’s Anomaly Bench and Rason’s Lolita, Sonderstuhl plays with negative space while pushing the boundaries of minimal material use. The result is a light and lively piece that nevertheless is exceptionally stable. And the truncated back gives it further aesthetic panache while, from a materials’ usage standpoint, just makes good sense (How often do our upper backs actually make contact with that portion of a chair?). If Sonderstuhl is any indication, we can expect further daring and dashing achievements from Buntain, Brave Space, and all of Brooklyn’s collaborative community. via Chair Blog
Posted October 8th, 2009 by Joseph Starr


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