Finding a peaceful and comfortable place to practice meditating is not always easy. A new chair designed specifically for meditation aims to make that process feel more natural.
Industrial designer, Ariel Lynne, created the Gingko chair as a way to facilitate an easier transition into a meditative state. The seat was named after its physical resemblance to the Gingko leaf.
The Gingko plant is one of the oldest living species of plants still found on Earth, dating back to over 225 million years ago. Gingko trees are native to China but have survived in locations scattered across Asia and in parts of the United States.
The minimalist wooden seat design was imagined for users to slow down and reflect. The piece provides support, stability and an aesthetic reminder to let thoughts flow organically.
The first seeds of the seat design were planted in Lynne’s imagination while she participated in a workshop in Copenhagen. At the workshop she reflected on what state her own meditation practice would be in when she returned to her home in Chicago.
After the workshop, Lynne constructed the foundations for the core structure of the chair’s design. While she rode her bike through a park in Copenhagen, she was inspired by a sandy spot she stopped at near Kastellet Island. The loose earth formed impressions based on her body adjustments while she sat. She built up the rest of the structural concept by drawing on from her works of Scandinavian designers, such as Hans Wegner, Verner Panton and Bjorn Norgaard.
Lynne explained to Design Boom how she believed the chair was driven by Scandinavian-inspired design but is a sculptural piece at its core. The essence of the piece as a sculpture work came from Lynne’s process of milling and plaining raw lumber. She cut out eighteen profiles of the lumber with a bandsaw then shaped them. Other techniques she used to craft the chair included belt sanding, angle grinding, hand sanding and rasping.
Her focus on creating a piece that is pleasing both aesthetically and practically stirred Lynne to be more creative in what constitutes a chair form. In the case of the Gingko chair, the design flows from the base and extends upward, like a growing plant, before cresting into a handle for easy mobility.