Clinker ChairNovember 2023
Conceptual renders and technical drawings based on the clinker boatbuilding tradition for the 2023 Bienenstock Competition.OBSERVATIONS

Furniture retailers understandably offer safe, expected, and watered-down versions of more flamboyant trends.

At the same time, independent makers constantly go viral for avant-garde, exciting pieces, taking risks with pattern, texture, form and decoration. 

The goal of this chair design is to offer an easily replicated piece of furniture that sacrifices neither character nor mass appeal; something people would buy because they consciously like 
the design, not as an afterthought to fill an empty space in their home.   
Identified trends to explore:
  • Framed upholstery
  • Interlocking, overlapping, and curved planes
  • Wood panel
  • Negative space
  • Traditional, idiosyncratic character



Upon exploring the defined trends, I realized the most successful were reminiscent of traditional boatbuilding. I honed my focus in on the Scandinavian clinker boatbuilding tradition, a recognized UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. These boats are built by fastening thin wooden planks over a keel, then joining outer planks together with lashing or traditional joinery. I was particularly interested in pegged tenon assemblies, and adapted my initial sketches to feature pegs as points of visual interest.

To translate the spirit of the clinker tradition to furniture, I researched traditional Scandinavian materials and settled on brown ash, white ash, and
Kvadrat textiles.



The Clinker Chair is assembled using traditional Scandinavian boatbuilding joinery for visual interest. Two bent ash panels are joined with pegged tenons to form the base, seat pan, and back.

The back, seat pan, and base are joined together with flathead screws on the bottom of the seat.

1. Size 10-24, 2.5in Zinc Alloy screws

2. Size 10-24, 1.5in Zinc Alloy screws

3. Pegged tenon assembly joining bent wood panels together

4. Tenon size: L 3in x W 3/8in x H 2in

Claire Casper Design Portfolio2024