Chris Rucker’s new Lounge Series
It’s nice to see that former construction grunt/journeyman carpenter and current design visionary Chris Rucker now has his very own website. First presented to our readers last April as the ambitious and auspicious author of a collection of modern furnishings made from cast-off OSB, Rucker continues his explorations into and reclamations of common curbside detritus with Ruckercorp—presenting an expanded portfolio that evinces a continued obsession with OSB.
Large reclining lounge in strandboard. Designed by Chris Rucker.
Rucker also has an enhanced appreciation for both recycled plastic laminate and found furniture pads (his quilts are a skillful, if strange, homage to a most revered pastime of country Grandmas). He makes no bones about the territory wherein he labors; one look at the rumpled landscape of disheveled astro-turf and strewn Pacifico bottles upon which he proudly displays his signature chair (this, the landing page of the website) tells even the least keen-eyed among us that we’re in a world with a distinctly urban vernacular. But his world transcends both wise-talking post-modernism and uber-cool hip; I’d wager in fact, that the ubiquitous “hipster” makes him blanch. So in stretching to name the man’s aesthetic, my best effort is “Post-apocalyptic.” Of the most genial sort, of course…
Chair installation. Designed by Chris Rucker.
Wall mounted shelving system. Designed by Chris Rucker.
Bookshelf. Designed by Chris Rucker.
Quilt. Designed by Chris Rucker.
I don’t think he’d mind the characterization. In fact, his copy smacks of the same sort of philosophy-meets-utility mindset one might expect from a millennial survivor sifting through the ruins: “incorporating plastic laminates, materials designed specifically to imitate, initiated a dialogue with strandboard that brought these experiments to full fruition. The work herein fuses quality construction methods with inexpensive and unorthodox materials conceptually yielding an answer to those original discarded and decaying remnants.” This is an inspired idea—that materials created to imitate have been re-purposed to a first/better intention. It reminds me of Blade Runner and Wall-E, this notion that a mundane object will far surpass its original intention if only our vision should penetrate the facade.
But there’s actually new stuff herein, yes? Yes indeed. The newest piece is “large reclining lounge in strandboard.” At 48” x 60” x 18” it’s large and commodious indeed. The low-slung look of the piece is a nice addition to previous work in OSB, most of which is vertically oriented. The Lounge’s horizontal bent highlights not only the unique look of the material but also references its utility as a structural component. An extremely stable piece, the lounge (also offered in painted marine fir plywood for outdoor use) is the first in a new series of larger pieces made for those inclined towards reclining. The most intriguing aspect about the lounge is its fusion of hard edges and wide-spaces, which, for me, reads as a harbinger of hope for Rucker’s re-claimed cityscape: that even after the apocalypse, we might find a moment or two to relax.