Truman Social Club Seat

The first piece of good design I found recently was in the Truman’s Social Club, a large brewery in Blackhorse Road, where I saw this unique-looking seating area/ furniture piece. Straightaway, the fact I am not even sure what to call this piece of design indicates to me it is an innovative idea from the get-go, as it does not conform to more familiar pieces of furniture.

The top of the unit essentially acts as several large plant beds, containing two Areca palms and two Swiss cheese plants (all individually separated). The bottom half acts as a rather unusual sitting area, with a bench and several counter-tops which can be used as tables.

photo of truman social club seating area
Truman Social Club Seating Area

The plants, whilst not necessary human-designed, act as a focal point because they are the only greenery in the warehouse. They are positioned exactly in the centre of the building and their height makes them stand out clearly. Their leaves give a fresh feel of the outdoors, which is very welcomed in a largely industrial setting.

The bottom part is made of several panels of wood, cut in a bespoke fashion to make four or five asymmetrical blocks of different heights. This in itself is aesthetically very pleasing and has a Cubist-like feel to it. The different levels also allow it to have multiple uses. For example, a taller sitting area on the left hand side, a lower portion for smaller guests on the right hand side, and a bench which can be used as a seat or simply a rest for drinks for guests that are standing.

The wood makes this a more sustainable piece of design, especially as it is unfurnished and is made from reclaimed wood and old pallets. This means the majority of the structure will biodegrade much faster and will be kinder to the planet, compared to plastic or other man-made materials. It also means its rustic look fits in well in its surroundings, together with being a visual example of creative recycling for guests to see.

The different levels mean that multiple groups of people can use this simultaneously; standing, sitting, eating, all whilst maintaining some privacy, without being overly exclusive or segregating.

I have never really seen a piece quite like this and liked it immediately upon seeing it. This object serves several unique purposes in its environment, whilst still being very visually aesthetic- making it a very good piece of design in my eyes.

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