Patience Bench

  • 2020

  • Product
    Furniture and Lighting

Designed By:

Commissioned By:

Dieter Ingles

Designed In:

New Zealand

The Patience Bench is inspired by arched doorways and alcoves found throughout interior architecture. The bench plays with the relationship between straight lines and curved faces and how they can exist together in one piece.

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  • The challenge was to design a product that wasn't limited to four legs and a flat top. I wanted to achieve a bench seat that could provide a statement in the environment it is placed, whilst still retaining function. It was important to create a bench that serves its purpose as a seat, rather than purely be observed. I felt timber needed to be the medium of choice. This utilises a material that ties the organic feeling natural timber furniture can bring, but applies it to a contemporary statement design.

  • The bench follows the silhouette of an arched doorway folded over the end, allowing it to support itself whilst retaining a likeness to that silhouette. Stability is provided by a small flat edge on the radius. Pertaining to the bench fulfilling it function as a seat, bevels were introduced by angling the outside edges inward. This makes for an inviting surface, helping the user to perceive it as somewhere to comfortably sit. The pillar facade softens the straight lines above whilst supporting the cantilevered end. This prevents the bench from warping and aids its structural stability because of its width.

  • I believe we are often inspired and influenced by environments and settings we observe outside of out own. The Patience bench allows you to bring those inviting archways into your environment without having to change the physical structure of your space. This allows you the freedom to no longer be left wishing, oh if only I could do that here.

  • Turning the computer drawing of the Patience Bench into a physical prototype, shortcomings in performance and production became apparent. Producing the prototype, which was originally made with one wide slab of oak, exposed repeatability issues as a consistent supply of wide slabs is poor. Not to mention wider timber planks have a tendency to move more. These issues were resolved by laminating three seperate planks. Placing the bevel join along the centre of the middle plank, it served to connect the flow of grain whilst reducing movement risks. In doing so, it also added strength by way of extra lamination joins. The placement of the dowel pillars, brought back from the end, serves to spread the load so multiple people can sit on the bench without excess stress. The first prototype showed that the bench needed to address stability performance. The following prototype resolved this by increasing the overall width, which wasn't possible previously with using just one slab. This allowed extra dowels pillars to be added along with a larger flat spot on the radius end. Combined with adding to the width, the overall height was reduced, making it more aesthetically pleasing and increasing overall stability performance.