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Bean Chair

Client - Simon and Karen Roebuck

“Working with Nick and the team was a great experience. I had the vision, and Nick realised it in 3D with precise measurements so that when it was fabricated, the seat looked exactly the way we wanted it to.”


The starting point

When Simon and Karen Roebuck were looking for a statement swing seat for their garden, they struggled to find a standard seat that met their vision. Rather than compromise, they decided to design and make their own seat – giving them complete control over every element of the project.

Having built his own landscaping and garden maintenance business, Simon is a natural designer, able to imagine a finished vision. So he made a drawing of the seat he and Karen wanted – based on an egg-seat design.

Now he needed someone to realise that design in 3D so that it could be fabricated by Simon’s manufacturer.

“Simon was referred to us by Shelley Engineering – a company we have both used for other projects,” says Nick Ford, PipSqueak’s MD. “We’ve worked on many sculptural projects before, including for Kew Gardens and the Science Museum, and this is exactly the type of project we love – bringing someone’s vision to life.”


Blending creativity with methodology

Simon, Karen and our team worked closely together. First, we used SolidWorks and KeyShot to visualise Simon’s design so they could see on-screen what it would look like in their garden. From this precision 3D model, we extracted all the data to allow the manufacturer to laser cut and weld the pieces together.

There were a number of challenges with this project. First, the seat was a swing seat, so it needed to be properly balanced when suspended, and retain that balance when people sat on it. Second, the seat was designed to sit under a steel pergola, and the Roebucks wanted it to be on a rail so it could move across the pergola to give different views of the garden at different times of day. So our work involved designing the movement system so it worked smoothly, and sourcing the right rails for the job.


“This project is a perfect example of the way we work,” says Nick. “It’s about blending creativity with methodology, using our depth of experience to exceed expectations. While many of our projects involve production-level designs, we always really enjoy working on one-off designs like this, which bring a lifetime of joy and satisfaction.”

“Once we knew that we wanted to produce our own design, it was a simple decision to use Nick’s expertise to help us bring it to life,” adds Simon. “We are absolutely delighted with the results, and we use the seat nearly every day. Most importantly, the design means that the seat is uniquely sculptural, so it is a fantastic focal point in the garden at any time of the year. We have enjoyed working with Nick so much that we have commissioned other projects with the team, and we are looking forward to seeing the latest of these designs come to life.”

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