Jonathan Rose Design News

The Attentive Collection

Attentive is a collection of furniture designed for an active lifestyle.

We have busy periods of our life; always daily, mostly weekly and often for a whole month. We sometimes wonder why the chairs we sit on seem to envelop and stop us from just getting on with it.

The Attentive chair is good for times like this. While you are focused on the job, it supports you, keeps your core working while you’re not even thinking about it. Lean backwards and the back touches you just where you want it. Feels good to stretch yourself. In a consultant’s clinic, around a working table, in a hotel lobby. Places where you don’t want the chair to swallow you up and where everyone needs to concentrate.

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The Attentive range allows this to happen and is also slender and discrete in a public place. It has something of the mid 20th century feel about it but definitely belongs to the 21st century lifestyle.

This collection came from the entrepreneurial spirit of an engineer who accepted the challenge of making a chair. The project started as an exploration of what could be done with laminates, without losing that solid wood feel. Out of the experimentation came a chair with a convex seat, a convex back and a unique method of upholstery capture. Key to the economics of the collection was CNC machining which could cut complex curves and curved recesses easily and quickly.

The connection between designer and manufacturer is always critical. In this case the manufacturer was prepared to work with the designer to improve the chair both on the cost side and for the skills of his team. He has an operation which prioritises the contribution of each team member and fosters an open relationship throughout the company. Here the designer was able to meet the director and makers and talk through ways in which the manufacturing processes could be improved.

Here is an example of how a UK based operation provides a successful outcome. A clear understanding of the design and its context by everyone involved, enabled the final product to be greater than the sum of its parts.

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It is now a collection with tables and stools to partner the chair. The tables provide that same function, uncluttered with stretcher rails and bulky drawers and with space for putting a laptop or tablet out of sight. The standing table enhances that dynamic interaction but without the need for a chair.

Manufactured in Britain from European ash. The chairs are made in a small factory in Coventry and the tables by a small family firm in Suffolk. All committed to the value of UK made products.

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