South African designer John Vogel worked with west elm to develop a version of his popular Nguni chair. Named for the horn-shaped back that mimics the horn of African Nguni cattle, the John Vogel chair and bench feature handwoven webbed seats…

What inspires you?

Inspiration comes from all around, sometimes it is an external object, sometimes, it just begins as a desire to produce something new.

How would you describe your work?

I would describe it as the crossroad of a desire to work with organic form, function, and the very real need to have others want to buy them.

What types of materials do you work with?

Timber is the main one, also weaving cord and plastics.

Where do you like to work?

I have my bench in the corner of my Cape Town workshop, I really enjoy the time I get to start something new.

Who are your favorite artists and designers?

There are so many brilliant designers out there, past and present. As a student, I really liked some of Le Corbusier‘s architecture. At the moment I like Zaha Hadid‘s work for its organic lines, modern approach and futuristic vision.

What’s your approach to decorating?

Every space is different. I guess I love decorating that celebrates and tells an honest story, of the individuals in the space.

Tell us about your collection for west elm — what inspired the curved wooden legs and seat back?

The Nguni chair was a design I did for a game lodge. I was looking to achieve a simple and skeletal chair with organic lines. The back rest form was inspired by horns of African Nguni cattle which were abundant in the area. I love the transparency which weaving allows and the sense of energy and hand work that enlivens the product.



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Vogel Design
John Vogel Video
John Vogel at west elm

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