Noel Blakeman - Spinning Seats

‘Spinning Seats’ is an innovative piece of sculptural engineering that is made up of 8 horizontal layers (sections), each of which has a bearing at one end that allows them to move.All 8 sections can fully articulate the full 360 degrees around the central post allowing them to be folded away underneath one another or fanned out into any number of positions.

As the sculpture’s name suggests, each section is also a seat, each capable of taking a weight of 140kg.

 The resulting sculpture can be used as a versatile seating system for up to eight people.Alternatively the seat sections, when not being sat on, can be placed in any number of positions to create a piece of sculpture which is ever changing.

The seat shape was inspired by the infinity symbol.This is represented within the design by the number of ways the seat sections can be positioned in relation to one another.

 The original design idea was inspired after a visit to a client’s home to discuss them commissioning me to make a sculptural garden gate.One of my ideas for the gate was similar to the spinning seats in that there would be a number of pivoted horizontal sections that would be moved to pass through the gateway.The idea had come to me while I watched my client’s 3 young children playing, the 2 older children were picking on their younger sister and the idea behind the gate was that the older children being taller would need to push open more sections of the gate than their younger, shorter sister therefore giving the younger child a small advantage when passing through the gate.

My client loved the idea but the practical aspect of the gateway and its use to bring lawn movers and bins in and out of the garden meant that the design was going to be too compromised and would lose its effectiveness.So my client asked me if I could think of another use for the design.I went away and came up with the ‘spinning seats’ design, a seat the whole family could sit at and they could all be at the same eye level, with the younger child sitting towards the top and the parents on the lower seat sections.

'Spinning Seats’ would look amazing in either stainless steel or white corian and both would weather excellently with only a small amount of cleaning needed to wipe away any debris that has fallen on the piece.

The bearings used to enable the seat sections to rotate are designed to have enough friction that the sections can be moved freely but as soon as you stop pushing the section it will stop.They can not be spun around like a round-a-about and nor will they move in the wind.

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