Blu Dot’s Buttercup
Right now Buttercup is a prototype, but a final version of the elegant chair, the culmination of an eight-month process, is due in August.
“It will get a little curvier near the joint on the bend,” explains John Christakos, one of the chir’s designers.
The designers at Blu Dot are giving us a glimpse of their creative process by displaying at the booth the four steps they took toward the completion of the chair (from left to right):
Seating Buck: a cardboard and plaster-board model. “This was the stage where we were playing with comfort,” says Christakos. “We weren’t worrying about form. We were playing with the depth of the seat, the height of the arm rests. At this point we were letting the ergonomics drive the form.”
Form Model: the second model, made of foam core and cardboard, was a kind of build-ability study. The chair is made of two pieces of bent plywood. “Here we were trying to figure out where the joints would be,” says Maurice Blanks. The chief concern was not so much the location of the joint—near the bend in the chair—but how it would be angled.
First Mold: a pink foam model. “This is basically the chair upside down,” Christakos says. The first mold is where form, ergonomics, and the physics of manufacturing begin to come together in a physical form.
The Prototype: shown at the ICFF, in baby-blue. An elegant, almost Eamesian form that is (almost) finished. “We still have a few things to tweak,” says Blanks. (One more trip to the factory in Italy is planned.) “The shape of the curve down near the joint is going to be swoopier.”
Designer: Maurice Blanks, John Christakos, Charlie Lazor
Manufacturer: Blu Dot Design & Manufacturing