The Dowel is making its mark on the collaborative furniture scene with its bold curves and quiet confidence. It’s also a fascinating insight into what happens behind the facade, from concept to market.
The original design intent with Dowel was to create a versatile solid timber table system showcasing soft rounded curves, with an aesthetic that is scalable without compromise from small occasional tables to large collaborative leaners. Initial design focus was on developing a unique method of connecting the leg to the top with a smooth flowing curve effect, and the team arrived at a solution that achieved structural integrity without traditional vertical rails. The final design features a low profile flat rail that flows seamlessly out of the top of the leg, creating a very slim profile and sense of fluidity to the finished product.
With the solid timber top becoming an integral part of the table’s strength the team also achieved the objective of a design that can be configured into multiple sizes and functions without compromise to the overall smooth flowing aesthetic. The design team commented “having all the expertise, experience and equipment to develop, make and test the components of this design in-house definitely opens up design possibilities and allows a ‘fail fast, fail early’ approach to development, meaning that the design process can evolve unobstructed. Dowel is a design that requires complex programming and 5-axis CNC machining. It is an exciting juxtaposition to transform a solid raw material into a soft, flowing and refined form. “The way the rails flow organically off the top of the leg and along the underside. Visually it’s a very smooth and well-resolved design.” remarked the design team.
There are certain parameters and limitations that apply, but essentially the design is scalable without compromise, regardless of the size. The in-house Design to Manufacture approach of Harrows means the desired aesthetic in a design like Dowel doesn’t get lost in translation. It also means the design community knows they can take a collection like the Dowel and apply their own interpretation with finish flexibility and apply it to multiple scenarios.