YD Spotlight: Nicholas Baker’s Chair Sketch Challenge Pt.1

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Every week (although the timing isn’t particularly fixed), I see a chair sketch on my Instagram feed, and after having seen and liked dozens of them, my mind can almost instantly recognize @nickpbaker’s style and brand of creativity anywhere.

Given the hashtag of #nickschairsketches, Baker uploads unusual conceptual chair designs almost every week. The chairs showcase inventiveness that one rarely sees in furniture design, as concepts take inspiration from quite literally anywhere. Scroll down to see a few of our favorites.

Designer: Nicholas Baker

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Taking inspiration from the laptop and its sleeve, this chair comes with the wooden backrest docked inside it. Use it as an ottoman stool, or pull the backrest out and dock it vertically to create proper seating!

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This pronged attachment literally turns a bale of hay into a rustic seating device! The prongs prod right into the hay, giving you a backrest you can angle-adjust to your liking by simply adjusting the penetration angle.

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Turning greenhouse into seating, this conceptual chair isn’t a terrarium, but rather is a chair-arium! (I laughed)

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Quite similar to the previous concept, this chair is a surreal representation of seating. Preserving a seating device within glass makes this chair quite metaphorical, poetic, and worthy of being an art installation (that you can rest your bum against).

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Titled the Strap Chair, this design gained a lot of popularity because of its unusual construction that a lot of people believed wasn’t possible or feasible. The appeal mixed with negative feedback led to Nick actually building a prototype that not only worked, but could take the weight of a person with relative ease.

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Bringing an element of fun into furniture, this chair is quite literally a ball-pool with a backrest. Straying away from tradition completely, this concept shares a bit with a beanbag, but ultimately stands on its own in terms of creativity and innovative thinking.

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This chair could have just as easily been made out of sheet metal (and it sounds like a more practical choice of material), but it employs fluorescent acrylic sheet instead, that’s cut into the shape of a cross, before being heat-bent into the form of a funky, translucent chair with a backrest.

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Taking clear inspiration from Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, the chair is a sort of homage to the rounded, chrome-plated art installation. It even features a reflection of the Chicago skyline. Apt!

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The Ch”air max” Cushion chair quite unusually combines inflatable furniture with wooden construction. The inflatable cushion props itself up on oak wood legs that conveniently fit inside dedicated slots made for them. I’d love to see a functional prorotype of this one.

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Unusual form, as a result of an unusual material choice as well as unusual manufacturing process, this terracotta chair is perhaps the most innovative of the lot! The terracotta is extruded in the capsule shape, before being pressed, and bent into the shape of the chair. Baking it gives it its earthy brown color, as well as hardening it. The terracotta remains cool in the summers, making it a nice chair for the outdoors during the day!