Townsend Rocker

A comfortable stepped rocker that encourages the user to relax. The chair won't rock unless the user's back is resting completely against the curved wood.

My ideation for this project surrounded the idea of momentary relaxation. I wanted to create a design that encouraged the user to rest by controlling the ability to rock back and forth. The design I pursued was a stepped rocker. The user wouldn't be able to rock in the chair unless they were fully relaxed, moving their center of gravity to the chair back and engaging the rockers. 
Iterations of scale models led me to the shape of the final form.
I constructed a form out of MDF in the silhouette I developed from an ergonomic study and full-scale drawings. Once the form was ready, I laminated 1/8th" maple veneer with West Systems Epoxy and vacuum sealed it for 24 hours. After the epoxy cured, I touched up any trouble areas and began sanding.
To create the rockers, I bent hot-rolled steel on a tube bender. Because of the complexity of the rocker, the order of the bends had to be planned carefully. After the bending process was complete and I had two matching pieces, I outsourced welding to create the entire frame. 
After assembly was complete, the Townsend Rocker was ready for photography.
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