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University student takes a seat at prestigious exhibition


A University of Wolverhampton student is taking a seat at a prestigious exhibition in the Netherlands - and he’s hoping that his chair will be in a great position. 

Joe Geehan, who is studying for a Master’s degree in Product Design in the University’s Wolverhampton School of Art has secured a place at the prestigious Dutch Design Week 2021, where he will be exhibiting his design of a unique Aero Chair.  

In October of each year, Dutch Design Week (DDW) takes place in Eindhoven. The biggest design event in Northern Europe presents work and ideas of more than 2600 designers to more than 350,000 visitors from home and abroad. In more than 110 locations across the city, DDW organises and facilitates exhibitions, lectures, prize ceremonies, networking events, debates and festivities.   

The Aero chair is designed to fuse together the risk of traditional craftsmanship skills with the certainty of high technology allowing them to coexist in a heavily digitised world celebrating two seemingly juxtaposing subjects.   

Joe said: “Some of Aero’s inspiration has come from high performance aircraft and bicycles influencing the forms and choice of the high-performance carbon composite element. The black American walnut was chosen to complement the distinctive black tones of the carbon whilst providing warmth to the chair.  

“Aero is a premium design with luxury in mind. It was important to tailor the materials to ensure the user can interact with the contrasting textures and forms of the chair. The traditional craftsmanship element of the design is enhanced with the beautiful strong grain structure hand finished with finishing oil.” 

Jason Fernandes, 3D Design Lecturer at the University, said: “It’s amazing that one of our student’s products will be on display at this international exhibition. 

“Joe is only one of many talented students that are studying with us, creating all kinds of products that have more benefits than just being furniture.  He will undoubtedly put the University and the School of Art firmly on the map.” 

Aero is a chair consisting of a carbon fibre cantilever arm that flows into the walnut front legs formed like the aero foils of a high-performance bicycle. The spitfire propeller inspired compound curves of the carbon twist and taper like a ribbon in the air. The unmistakeable presence of the chair invites the user to enter.  

The hand cut seat form holds the occupant comfortably as the wide arms of the chair cuddle the occupant giving them permission to relax and use their laptop or smart device. The form of the seat base speaks of the chair’s foundations in chair history with the shape being inspired from a Windsor chair. The weave of the carbon fibre gives the composite an appearance of a high-end fabric or woven material creating a premium appearance.  

Timber is comprised of small fibres all compressed together and held with resin in the same way that carbon fibre is comprised of fibres and resin but in a man-made form. The brace design pulls the chair together demonstrating the certainty of modern engineering with the aluminium components being delicately machined for a precise fitting inspired by the precision and uniformity of aerospace engineering.   

Anyone looking to study at the University of Wolverhampton should register for one of our forthcoming Open Days. 


For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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