Samuel Chan | Founder of Channels, Joined + Jointed
Samuel Chan’s career is a love story with wood spanning over 20 years. Lauding his ability to ‘make wood sing’, a panel of industry peers named him British Furniture Designer of the Year 2015. Born in Hong Kong and educated in the UK, Chan’s fascination with wood – and woodcraft – began in his early school days and carried through to his Master’s degree in Furniture Design from Buckinghamshire University. As the founder of both his own studio-showroom – Channels – in 1995 and the furniture collective Joined + Jointed in 2013, Chan engages in private design commissions as well as bespoke commercial projects. His works have won an unprecedented 18 British Design Guild Marks.
For office chairs, wood is an unusual material, and a well-crafted wood office chair is even more exceptional. The new Baton series is a result of Chan’s constant challenge to himself – to express the wood material in original ways. Using strips of timber, the chairs are made entirely by hand, offering the contemporary executive a high level of craft and refinement as well as support and comfort. At first glance the designs are deceptively simple, but over time the discerning user will discover its many subtle details. These are chairs that reveal not only the skill and flair of the maker, but the depth and finesse of the user.
Visual purity, perfect proportion and meticulous craftsmanship have always been at the heart of Chan’s work. These principles stem from his belief that design is a living process and should be ‘right and fitting’ for its purpose and setting, and the hope that a piece of furniture has the potential to inspire human affection. Baton is a prime example of this conviction, exuding quiet authority while remaining warm and approachable. If its designer can make wood sing, his chair may well make minds dance with wonder.