173_31173_30173_29173_29.5173_28173_27173_26173_24173_23173_22173_21173_20173_19173_18173_17173_16173_15173_14173_13173_12173_11173_10173_09173_08173_07173_06 173 – Working Man’s Chair

Working Man’s Chair
Zinc-plated mild steel
43 x 43x 43 (bracket)
Produced by Workshop Residence

From: Max Lamb
Subject: Workshop Residence
Date: 2 May 2012 17:50:09 BST
Cc: Ann Hatch
To: Braden Weeks Earp

Hi Braden and Ann,

So, I’ve been researching Dogpatch and the immediate area whilst scouring google satellite.

Fascinating to read the history of the area and to learn that much of the architecture from 1860’s- survived the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fire.
Some great info here http://www.pier70sf.org/dogpatch/dogpatch_history.htm
Interestingly Dogpatch was initially established by British immigrant workers, becoming very much the centre of heavy industry in SF and as a consequence became a neighbourhood for the ‘working class’.
Also of interest is the fact that “Most houses in Dogpatch were built by working families, often with their own hands. Typical of the Dogpatch neighborhood homes are more than a dozen quaint Victorian-style houses designed by the architect Jon Cotter Pelton Jr. in the early 1880s. At the time, Pelton published his design specifications for free in the San Francisco Evening Bulletin, so homes could be built at a price that was within the industrial worker’s reach.”
So Dogpatch obviously attracted an abundance of skilled labour and craftsmanship and a can-do, make-do, industrious mentality.

Thus an initial thought/concept for my Workshop Residency project is……

Working Man’s Furniture
(or Working Man’s Chair – a play on Jasper Morrison’s ‘Thinking Man’s Chair’)

A collection of furniture that actively encourages the industrious, self-sufficent spirit of 1860’s Dogpatch. Furniture for the people, made by the people. An evolution of my DIY furniture and my Third Chair produced by E&Y combined. I love the idea of mass-man-production – I recently completed a commission for 18 chairs and now working on a new commission for 75 stacking chairs – all of which will be made in my small London workshop.

Working Man’s Furniture will be designed, developed and produced during the Workshop Residency through a series of community engaging workshops which can either be scheduled or we could allow for daily ‘drop-in’. Raw materials will be native – ideally timbers will be sourced locally but regardless the local hardware stores will become prime outlets for the materials used and in fact the design of the furniture would inevitably be directed by the standardised materials that are readily available to the common man!


We can sell the furniture in the residency shop and those who take part in the workshops to help produce the furniture can be offered either a percentage of the sales or some of the furniture they make or….. something….not sure what, TBC. The workshop will become a kind of furniture co-op. After the residency we can either offer the design template and assembly instructions so anyone can fabricate the furniture themselves or maybe we find a local chippy or carpenter who is interested to continue production to order and sold through the residency shop. Not sure about the selling aspect but the basis of an idea is there.

As we discussed it would be fantastic if I could visit San Francisco this summer to meet you, see the Workshop Residence, get familiar with Dogpatch and to develop the project with my feet on the ground. Dogpatch seems like a fantastic area and I’m sure there are loads of other industries that will be super inspiring to discover.

Hopefully I am on the right track and look forward to discussing the project with you further.
Best regards