the straw chair

It’s safe to say we all recognise this chair. If we didn’t have one (or many) as kids, we have probably seen them at teta’s.

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These traditional handcrafted wood and straw chairs are a classic Lebanese product.

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The weaving and assembling techniques and passed down through generations, and each craftsman’s work is characterised by the patterns and wood they’ve used; these patterns and designs even differ regionally within the country.

There have also been some modern interpretations to these vernacular designs.

Khayzaran-Fairuz-chair-lebanese-designer-yasmine-24
Photo courtesy of Design Wanted

Richard Yasmine has made a chair, called kayzaran/fairuz, linking 4 arcs at the legs and an arabesque pattern made with rattan.

Vernacular design usually refers to architecture. Matt Grocoff writes “Vernacular design is architecture based on local needs, local materials, and local traditions. It’s what gives a place its character. Like flowers in nature, vernacular buildings evolve over time to live within the patterns of the local environment. Like nature they self-assemble based on local rules of interaction.”

How can we translate that into design?

A mix of local tools, inherited craftsmanship and a repeated work process over a long period of time until it becomes part of culture and heritage; I think.

So how did we translate that into these chairs?

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We used traditional chairs mixed with traditional cross-stitching techniques.

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