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A Rocker for Adults: The Cradle Chair by Richard Clarkson

Sometimes, don’t you just want to curl up into a fetal ball, pretend you’re back in the womb, and shut your eyes off to reality? Of course you do and so do I. You wouldn’t be among the stress-filled inhabitants of millennial America if you didn’t. Designer Richard Clarkson thus holds interest for us all—his Cradle Chair is designed to simulate the pure relaxation of the pre-natal state.

Cradle Chair. Designed by Richard Clarkson.

The Cradle Chair Rocks Your Cares Away

Cradle Chair. Designed by Richard Clarkson.

Of course, nobody knows what it actually feels like to be in the womb, but Clarkson, along with collaborators Grace Emmanual, Brodie Campbell, Jeremy Broker, Eamon Moore, Kahlivia Russell and Joya Boerrigter, have ventured a pretty good educated guess. Cradle’s semi-circular shape and gentle rhythmic oscillations help create a “safe, comfortable and relaxing environment in which the user can dissipate the overstimulation of their senses.”

Cradle Chair. Designed by Richard Clarkson.Cradle Chair. Designed by Richard Clarkson.

In conceiving of Cradle, the seven designers were influenced by the growing body of research into Autism and Rhythmic Movement Disorder (RMD). They found that the same multi-directional rocking that can calm children with hyper- and hypo-sensory conditions can also help adults to relax by clearing the mind and resting the body.

Cradle Chair. Designed by Richard Clarkson.Cradle Chair. Designed by Richard Clarkson.

One look at Cradle makes this insight self-evident, as the piece’s overlapping bi-directional bentwood laminates create an all-embracing interior, adorned, of course, with a bevy of comfy cushions. All-in-all, Cradle reminds me of the iconic scene of the infant Moses floating down the Nile in unencumbered comfort to be rescued and raised by Pharaoh’s daughter. Of course, the infant Moses didn’t know that he was in peril, and neither will you while relaxing in the cozy surrounds of this inventive and endearing new furnishing.

Cradle Chair. Designed by Richard Clarkson.

Via Freshome.

About the Designer: Richard Clarkson is a third year Industrial Design student at Victoria College in Wellington, NZ. Though he says he’d like to enter the master’s program next year, much of his work already appears ready for prime time. His portfolio is quite versatile, as it includes pieces exemplifying bold use of unconventional materials like polystyrene (Hundreds & Thousands Chair), as well as work evincing formal experimentation with more typical ones (Dripping Lamp).

Posted August 3rd, 2011 by Joseph Starr


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