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Drawing, Preparatory Sketch for Enignum Free Form Chair

This is a Drawing. It was designed by Joseph Walsh. It is dated ca. 2012 and we acquired it in 2015. Its medium is graphite on white wove paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Irish designer Joseph Walsh has been creating pieces in his Enignum series since 2011. The title borrows from the Latin for “mystery” (Enigma) and “wood” Lignum, which Walsh feels captures the overriding principle of his designs: “the mystery of the composition lies in the material.” Walsh begins his designs by taking single pieces of olive ash and stripping the thick slab of wood into thin layers. He allows the wood itself to guide his forms, and then turns to his sketchbook to consider how the piece might work as a piece of furniture. For his design Enignum Free Form Chair, Walsh used pencil and paper to help refine to proportions and form of the bench. These loose and elegantly rendered drawings elucidate an important step in Walsh’s design process.

This object was donated by Joseph Walsh. It is credited Gift of Joseph Walsh.

Our curators have highlighted 2 objects that are related to this one.

  • DCM Side Chair
  • molded laminated plywood, bent tubular steel, metal, molded rubber.
  • Gift of Olive Emslie.
  • 1990-112-2

Its dimensions are

H x W: 29.5 × 41.9 cm (11 5/8 × 16 1/2 in.)

It is signed

Signed in graphite, lower right: JW

Cite this object as

Drawing, Preparatory Sketch for Enignum Free Form Chair; Designed by Joseph Walsh (Irish, b. 1979); graphite on white wove paper; H x W: 29.5 × 41.9 cm (11 5/8 × 16 1/2 in.); Gift of Joseph Walsh; 2015-39-4

We have 1 video that features Drawing, Preparatory Sketch for Enignum Free Form Chair.

Joseph Walsh: Enignum Chair Process

Irish designer Joseph Walsh's studio, where the Enignum Chair is made.

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making | Breaking: New Arrivals.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Drawing, Preparatory Sketch for Enignum Free Form Chair |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=22 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>