It's tough not to be impressed with Netherlands-based designer Robert van Embricqs' "Rising" series of furniture, comprised of a stool, chair and table:
The Rising Chair was the first of the series. Van Embricqs explains how he went from sheet to seat:
The foundation of any chair is the flat surface you'll eventually sit down on. Using this notion as a starting point, I made several cuts in the flat surface and pulled up the different beam-like strands of cut surface. This created the preliminary but already distinct features of any chair: back, seat and legs. The rhythm of the wooden beams gives the chair an organic shape. The cuts are most visible when the chair is still down. But at that stage of the construction, I still didn't know what shape the chair would take in the end. This was determined by the various arches of the wooden beams the chair is made of. Folding the chair into its definitive form, as a creator, I felt a special connection to the material I was working with.
The Rising Table came afterwards, and with this piece, van Embricqs faced the challenge of trickily incorporating a flat, supportive surface into the design. "I felt it was of paramount importance that the source materials both dictated and guided the ultimate design, while ensuring practical appliance and usability," he explains.
During the design process, I made a point of sticking as close to nature as possible. Using natural design concepts for inspiration, I studied the various ways in which transformations take place in nature without the cumbersome involvement of man. This inspired the incision pattern in the flat surface of the wood that resulted into the creation of a latticework of 'woven' wooden beams that make up the center of the table. By emphasing nature's logic, a seemingly random collection of wooden beams organically merges to form the figuratively beating heart of the Rising Table.