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a chair of the 18th century used at game tables, having a padded top rail on which spectators could lean. Users sat astride, seemingly backwards, in order to use this top rail.


{ruh-koh-koh} A style of architecture and decoration, originating in France about 1720, evolved from Baroque types and distinguished by its elegant refinement in using different materials for a delicate overall effect and by its ornament of shell-work, foliage, etc. • smaller rooms are now more intimate in scale & function • these smaller spaces allowed for a greater quantity of room type and thus, furniture types • emphasis on the individual extravagance • effort to avoid straight intersections • refinement of ornament + detail • romantic subject matter • s + c shaped curves • care-free life

process + development

coursier Coursier, meaning “Steed” in the French language, was developed to echo common motifs found during the French Rococo period. The naming of the piece arose from its resemblance to a mount and the way in which users interact with it. Graceful, curvilinear forms convey a sense of movement and allude the organic “s” and “c” bend curves that were popular of the time. The primary purpose of the voyeuse was to spectate table games. A padded top rail allowed users to sit astride and lean in as they watched a game. The transformation piece aims to shift the focus from spectating to participating.

The “head� of the piece supports forearms and the sternum as an obvious reincarnation of the padded top rail. The seat pan was developed in such a way that it resembles a shell; another significant element of the Rococo period.

Additionally, the piece embodies an aesthetic that elegantly conforms to the user. During the Rococo period, a definite change occurred in the perception of status. A particular emphasis was placed on individual extravagance rather than expressing stately power.

The overall form was kept slim for several reasons. One being the ease of approach. In a setting where multiple pieces are positioned around a gaming table one will note that getting in/out of seating can be difficult with close proximity to others. By creating this linear approach the designer has eliminated the lateral “straddling� motion. This lateral raising motion can be difficult for some. With the straight-on approach, the user need only widen their stance slightly to move above the seat pan. It should be noted that the traditional voyeuse maintained a similarly slim footprint.

As stated, the head of the piece serves as a rest for the forearm and sternum as necessary. To enhance its relevancy to the table game scenario, the front of this top piece has been recessed for reasons pertaining to security and comfort. In a game of cards where money is on the line, individuals become deeply invested in keeping their dealt hand well hidden. The recessed pocket located on the end of the forearm rest was incorporated to hide the users hand in an inconspicuous and passive manner. As the users hand hangs from the front edge, the content of the game card faces inward toward this recessed pocket. This particular view also showcases the cupped shell form of the seat pan.

Artwork of the French Rococo period was heavily referenced to accurately portray the style of the time period. Gracefully interwoven curvilinear forms attempt to personify the billowing fluidity found in Rococo artwork. The piece also seems to radiate a certain playful attitude found commonly in said artwork.

The hyper-stylistic nature of the piece is justified in referencing housing trends of the Rococo period. At this period in time, spaces were becoming smaller and more intimate in nature. The larger quantity of rooms allowed for more room types; in tandem, furniture became more specified to facilitate a unique function.


Furniture Transformation Piece  
Furniture Transformation Piece  

Tasked with re-envisioning a historical furniture piece. Coursier is the contemporary evolution of the traditional Voyeuse.