戰役時期逼不得已的選材 The Priceless Post-War Designs

在鐵器比起木材來得矜貴的戰爭年份,日夜屈縮在細小的空間,連一粒鐵螺絲都拮据的日子,更枉論有整塊鋼鐵鑄成大型傢俬。當年橡木算是唯一可靠的選擇,一種造船/教堂樓頂都通用的堅固木材。

Photo ©Vitra/ Standard Chair, Entretoise Metallique Table 

於是順著時勢以機能為本將承重做到最完善,試著以結構和物料來轉移重量。

雛形在1934年誕生,算是借著創作來評擊當時處於顛峰的形式主義,再以物料的受壓能力及鑄造生產思考並建立嶄新的椅子形態;在1941年以木工入榫的方式,製成純木Chaise Tout Bois;在1947年以相同的結構配合別的物料產出了Standard Chair。雖說選用木材是迫不得已,但「承重轉移」技術成了這位法國著名建築家的特色之一,廣泛應用在其他傢俬系列,可算是為後來的項目打下根基。

現在共有三個版本,均是無數次承重受壓實驗的結晶:金屬短缺戰役時期1941年的純木Chaise Tout Bois、1950年的塑膠版本Siège en Plastique/ Standard SP、及現今人稱經典的1947 Standard木+金屬支撐版本。
Photo ©Vitra/ Chaise Tout Bois, Moca Chair, Eames Elephant (Plywood)

When metal was scarce during WWII, oak was one of the most reliable materials for ships and cathedral roofs in France.  The very first design was in 1934 which opposed formalism in the era and visualised “what material thinks”.  Effectiveness of load transfer was intentionally tested on the structure of chairs with only one material - wood. Chaise Tout Bois 1941 - the screwless chair was created entirely in wood for post-war generations, which later in 1947 Standard Chair shares the same structure and retains prestige quality under mass industrial productions. Based on practical functionality, load transfer was known as an iconic feature of the French “constructeur” Jean Prouvé and built a solid base for later furniture collections.

Design prototypes of the Standard Chair Series went through wars to the most peaceful decades in human history. They went through endless tests over numberless materials available at the moment, results in an entirely wood (Chaise Tout Bois 1941) version at the very beginning, then the mix (Standard 1947) of wood and metal versions when level of metal supply back to normal, and later plastic version (Siège en Plastique/ Standard SP 1950).
Photo ©Vitra/ Cork Family, Eames House Bird, Aluminium Chair, Compas Direction

戰後恢復金屬供應,終可成想要的模樣;雛形可追溯到1930年代,以鋼鐵接合實木連起支撐用的三角,與當時的「前衛」運動大相逕庭。這個三角形態是力學及承重/壓力的象徵,亦是Jean Prouve的傢俬著名特色之一。

在19後半世紀,這名法國建築家與比利時科技公司Solvay Chemical Company進行著數個的室內設計、工商業項目;或許與著名化學家Ernest Solvay有著一面之緣,這些檯凳順理成章被命名為Solvay。隨後更延續成:Tabouret Solvay (1941) 茶几、Gueridon餐桌/茶几(1941/1949)、Entretoise Metallique E.M.餐桌(1950)、Fauteuil Direction椅子系列 (1951) 及Compas Direction工作桌/書桌 (1951)。


Photo ©Vitra/ Standard Chair, Gueridon Table

Couple of table and seatings from the Solvay collection come with the major in solid wood under the scarcity of metal during wars and joint with technical metal components in triangular geometry after supply back to normal level; The idea of triangular structure and metal joints comes in the 1930s and went opposite with the architectural “avant-garde”. Later represents the cohesion between forces and stresses, known as one of Prouve’s signatures.

In the late 19th century, Jean Prouvé - the well-known French designer and architect, was working on a number of interior and industrial projects for the Solvay Chemical Company; which “Solvay'' is defined as an industrial process after the Belgian chemist - Ernest Solvay. The structural form later continued as Tabouret Solvay (1941), Gueridon Table (1941/1949), Entretoise Metallique E.M. Table series (1950), Fauteuil Direction series (1951) and Compas Direction Desk (1951).

Photo ©Vitra/ Suita Sofa

單看選材及形態的差異,便由戰後的法國來到20世紀50年代的美國舊金山。Suita Sofa Modular恰到好處的厚度,展現50年代舊金山前衛的乾淨俐落;在Vitra極為豐富材料庫挑選布/皮料及鋼鐵的幼腳支撐,甚至可以選擇軟/硬的座位。更有添加頭位置依靠的部分,變成讀書用的家中商務艙,或是共享空間的高身沙發添一點隱私。在家工作不用太拘謹,客廳亮一盞地燈,從沙發上盤腿轉身/推張凳在沙發背後便能繼續。 放上一盞檯燈將當成邊桌,靠牆擺放便是展示層架。
可算是現代歐洲組合沙發之中最為多元化的傢俱之一。

Photo ©Vitra/ Suita SofaMiniatures Lockheed Lounge, Plate Table

Take a glance at the availability of materials and form of pieces, furniture production has a completely different picture in France than that in America. To pay tribute to the 1950 San Francisco designs, Suita Sofa Modular is made with a wide range of fabric, leather and metal in extremely clean and streamlined forms.

Without sacrificing functionality or form of beauty, the technological and aesthetic sofa family is developed in a structural body with bridge-like legs at the bottom with high flexibility for social networking. The rear-mounted shelf encompasses as a workspace for laptops with a portable table lamp, a free-standing area for conversations, and even a visual display when against the wall. You may also select your type of comfort to be firm or soft. The optional head section turns Suita into a business class daybed for reading for additional sense of privacy. 
Photo ©Vitra/ Fauteuil de Salon, Eames House Bird, Kanto Magazine Rack, Tabouret Solvay

參照近兩年重新面世及無數借鑑經典的授權生產,二十世紀尾追捧現代工業化的熱潮似乎已經過去。「Renaissance」在法文意指「再生」,沒有要恢復古典文化,而是借著創作評擊過時觀念及體制,來建立新的世界。文藝有橫跨數百年的復興時期,手工傢俬在近幾年可算是復興嗎?

在世界大戰時、工業發達之前,材料選擇有限,傢俬也只能手工自己做。後期工業發達,憑著大規模生產降低成本,大多傳統傢俱工坊的命運落在被取代而不得不消失。「懷舊」的出現或是因「嶄新」的不完美,是個人抑或集體回憶,都是無法避免的變遷。幾十年來,大多藉著舊時的形態觀念,以現代物料配合再建立新的版本。或許不再一味懷舊之時,純手工/木工傢俱與現代工廠配合之間的難能可貴也將有些眉目。

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Text Credit: Establo Lifestyle