Richard W. Townsend

Richard Townsend
Side table


It was taking antique furniture apart during the restoration process that led me to a desire to build pieces of my own design.

“Looking close up at the craftsmanship and joinery that went into each individual component of the whole piece made me want to recapture the bygone quality that is at the heart of the furniture making process.

Two hundred years is proof enough that a structure has integrity. This is the starting point of every piece of furniture I conceive.

As a student of sculpture at Pratt Institute, I fell in love with the forms found in the works of the modern masters, including Constantine Brancusi, Henry Moore, Alex Calder and others who released line and form from the stifling conventions of history. By honoring these pioneers and some of the master of furniture designing/making of the 20th century: Esherick, Breuer, Le Corbusier, Nakashima, Castle, Maloof among them, I fed a desire to create in a language that is my own.

These artists taught me that design is a living art. It ebbs and flows, always changing in it’s details and refinements, while adhering to the fundamental elements of scale, balance and proportion. Pythagoras cited the “golden section” 2400 years ago!

Combine this with a profound respect for structure and ergonomics and this is what drives my design work. It is not enough to be merely elegant, nor elegant and sturdy. It must be elegant, sturdy and comfortable as well.

For example, a chair back angle, relative to the seat must fall within strict limits if it is to be supportive and relaxing to sit in. Haven’t we all sat upon lovely dining chairs that we could not get comfortable on? This and many other specifications are taken into account with the creation of each new design.

The result, I hope you will agree, is an object with timeless elegance and unparalleled comfort and convenience.

Richard W. Townsend