Investigating Structure

Furniture Design Professor Lothar Windels BID 96 new version of his award-winning Joseph Felt Chair

When furniture designer Lothar Windels BID 96 first started working with wool felt, he was a grad student at the Royal College of Art in London eager to solve one very specific challenge: how to make felt structural.

“It’s always more interesting to discover a project’s core principal and put aesthetic concerns on the back burner—to design from the inside out,” says Windels, a longtime Furniture Design professor who currently heads the department.

Furniture Design Professor Lothar Windels BID 96 working with student

Since then Windels’ award-winning Joseph Felt chair has been exhibited in Berlin, Boston, London, Milan, Munich, Tokyo and Zurich. He has continued to revise and refine the design over the years, developing a striking gray and red version in 2003 for the permanent collection at the RISD Museum.

Now Windels has donated a new take on the chair (with improved hardware for simpler assembly) for use in the President’s House at RISD, which showcases art and design work by a wide range of students, faculty members and alumni.

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