As tomorrow marks the anniversary of the birth of this great nation with subsequent festivities to boot I can’t help but wince a little when seeing how far we’ve come with outdoor-inspired design. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the convenience of being able to buy a 36-pack of my favorite brews along with a can of Propane and an affordable chair all at the same location. However, there is truly something lacking in the habit of knowing all three of those things might only last an afternoon. This is where Eric Trine comes in.
Trine “makes things” and as you can expect, he makes things well. Educated as a true artisan, he’s recently turned his attention to re-imagining the Tower Chair. Usually manufactured of malleable metal, such as aluminum, the bones were typically woven together with a seemingly indestructable nylon fabric to support sitters both large and small. Trine saw room for improvement: “I was in the course of working on another series of woven strap chairs when I came across an old aluminum lawn chair at an offbeat Portland thrift store called Better Bargains,” he said. “I bought it for 99 cents, brought it back to the studio and re-wrapped it with $40 worth of leather. It was an experiment in absurdity, whimsy—a simple move that elevated an ordinary artifact of American barbecue culture and put it on par with a Le Corbusier lounge chair. Adding the leather is a classy move, but the chairs are still more suited for enjoying the champagne of beers as opposed to a flute of Veuve Clicquot.” I couldn’t agree more.
More about these and Eric Trine’s other projects can be found on his website.