The Lander Chair

If I had known the amount of time and money this chair was going to cost I might have thought twice about making it, saying that The Panton chair took 10 years to get right.

It all started back in 1996, I was working for LEGO as a freelance creative visionary and in TV and film as an art director and prop builder. I wanted to make something for my self, a wow piece of furniture that was original and cool and of sorts a metaphor for my arrival as a designer. "Like a thing coming from outer space and 'landing' on all fours".


The Lander project was born and so a design for a lounge chair was formed based around a shark like object with fins sticking out towards the ground.


Charlie Davidson 1996-2002




The making of The Lander chair

I should point out that at the time I had no access to 3D modelling software so everything was hand drawn, hand carved and hand made. I used Adobe illustrator to make the templates and guides, see profile test below.


To cut a long story short I ended up making:


  • Two heated high pressure polyurethane foam moulds for forming the seat and back cushion
  • Four resin patterns for sand casting the legs
  • One plywood mould for the seat back
  • Three steel jigs for welding a forming the back rest support
  • A fibreglass original to make the seat covers
  • Two fibre glass moulds to form the monocoque chassis structure to which the legs and back would attach too.


The following images to the right explain the journey which took 5 years. I showed the finished Lander C-Type chair alongside two newly made accompanying pieces, The Lander A-10 Bombshell  and A-10 Buck with Designersblock during the London design festival in September 2002 .

Concept sketches, 1998

Original Sketch 1997

Charlie Davidson, 1999

Lander, back view, 1999

Finished polystyrene form, 1999

Completed full size model, 1999

Profile test, 1999

Making a mould of the top side

Sketch, high pressure polyurethane casting mould

The original design shown at the London Design Festival was upholstered in a 'Bute' stretch wool textile. Unfortunately this super new lounge chair required a much more hi tech look to reflect the  cutting edge design,  which is when a friend of mine pointed me in the direction of a wetsuit manufacturer in the north of England.

They showed me a new neoprene material that was coated with titanium finish on the inside and used to insulate deep sea diving suits, what's more this material was called shark skin.

They produced new covers for me using exactly the same techniques used in making wetsuits, with glued and stitched seams and reinforcing tape. The black seams and huge zipped mouth accentuated the lines of the form and made the chair more alive.


The Lander Project, Charlie Davidson, 1997-2002


You might also like these chairs...

Making high pressure polyurethane casting mould

Two finished chairs prior to upholstery

N-Type upholstered in shark skin neoprene