Luxury French furniture label Roche Bobois and New York–based designer Stephen Burks have introduced a hand-crafted seating duo whose materiality plays on trans-Atlantic aesthetic variances. The Traveler chair marks the manufacturer’s first collaboration with an American designer in 14 years. Unveiled at a showroom event this summer held to mark Roche Bobois’ 40th anniversary in the U.S. and available beginning this month, the chair is offered in two versions.
The so-called American version of the chair features a beige, stained ash wood frame with leather straps to support plush cushions that are filled with polyester flakes and memory foam. The chair measures 42.9 inches long, 33.8 inches tall, and 49.6 inches deep.
The American’s proxy, the European model gets its shape from a lacquered steel frame strung with leather cords. An optional canopy is offered, for which the frame arches above the chair to create an element of micro-architecture within an already enclosed indoor space. Leather cushions, filled with goose and duck feathers, offer back and posterior support. With its hood, the chair features 1,420 feet of leather cord and measures 50.4 inches wide, 57 inches tall, and 42.9 inches deep. Without the hood, the chair contains 970 feet of cord and is 47.6 inches wide and 45.6 inches tall at the same depth.
The seating elements reference principles of Burks’ Man Made collection of woven, decorative lighting and furniture elements, which was displayed at Salone in April and aims to commercialize the work of artisans in Senegal for consumers of contemporary design products worldwide, Dezeen reports. Through his studio, Readymade Projects, Burks’ work also includes a sleek metal-framed, glass-topped table for Calligaris, an outdoor lounge for Dedon, and a collection of floor and suspension luminaires for Barcelona, Spain–based Parachilna that are characterized by welded, curved metallic shades in various sizes.
“Today we see our creative model leaning toward a workshop-based practice rather than exclusively a studio one,” Burks said in a statement on the Roche Bobois collaboration. “These days half my time is spent in the factory collaborating with artisans and craftspeople. I believe, as designers, the closer we get to the process of making, the more we can evolve it.”