Seed pod seating

Brief: David Harber was approached by John Murdoch to assist with the concept development, technical design and fabrication of several sculptural features for the landscaping design of the Goodman’s Fields development in central London.

John had the idea to create four sheltered seating areas, adorning the perimeter of a public grassy space, which took their inspiration from a seed pod unfurling. These seed pods, whilst elegant and beautiful with a natural look and feel needed to be constructed in a robust manner so that they could survive the rigours of a public urban environment.

Ariel view of Goodman's Fields

The Proposed Concepts: David Harber worked very closely with John to develop the initial concept further and to progress a final design to the technical design process.

The final design is a giant 5m tall unfurling seed pod made from steel, galvanised and patinated to a verdigris finish, with hand cut ‘veins’ allowing sunlight to create dappled shadow effects on the floor.

Seat ideas for Goodman's Fields Seat ideas for Goodman's Fields

Technical challenges: It was a concern that, at such a large size in particular, the compound curve shape may prove very difficult to fabricate uniformly and this problem may well be compounded by the proposed veins which are to be free-hand plasma cut. These veins also pose a potential problem when they come to be in-filled with a clear resin to allow sunlight to pass through.

All of these challenges will be overcome by building custom tooling and jigs to press the petals uniformly, the veins shall become perforated lines rather than continuous lines and the resin shall be keyed into channels with angled walls to hold them tightly in place.

Sead pod seating in situ