Find Your Equilibrium with William Emmerson’s Ripple Chaise

London-born, L.A.-finished William Emmerson can pinpoint the moment he knew he wanted to be a designer: “a small sculpted head which his father hand-carved for him when he was 12 years old became both his prize possession and the impetus for beginning his life as a designer… watching his father carve, it became obvious to him that he wanted to create.” I’ve never seen the “head” in question, but if Emmerson’s work for Ralph Pucci is any indication, it probably was excessively bulbous, shiny, and slick, for that seems to be the designer’s chosen milieu. At least, if the Ripple Chaise can be said to speak for him.

Ripple Chaise for Ralph Pucci. Designed by William Emmerson.

This intriguing piece—which looks like a mirror image of itself—partakes of a fine tradition of counter-balanced loungers, begun by the inestimable Mr. Corbusier and his classic LC4, and recently re-visited with Jeremy Kaplan’s stylish Felt Chaise. Emmerson’s piece departs from and, dare I say, improves upon, aspects of both. In its innovative use of materials (bentwood in high-gloss lacquer finish), concept (cantilevered construction for even weight distribution), and functionality (the pronounced curvature mimics the body’s natural undulations), Emmerson’s chaise is bold yet practical, innovative but functional—nor does it hurt that its durable, weather-resistant finish lets it double as the world’s priciest deck lounge.


All kidding aside (and the reported $17,760 price tag is certainly no laughing matter), the Ripple Chaise will appeal to connoisseurs of the unusual, to be sure, but also to those who can spot quality construction a mile off: the two components are so perfectly balanced that a 200 pound man can sit at the end without toppling the whole ensemble. Emmerson’s work is also hand-crafted, which, in addition to aligning him with another artfully-inclined designer we recently profiled (Yukio Hashimoto), appeals to Pucci’s own circle of connoisseurs: “My clients expect the unexpected, and William is the unexpected here now.”

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