Fyrn, based in San Francisco, has launched its debut collection – a line of furniture called Stemn. Taking a page from Charles and Ray Eames, Fyrn took an unconventional approach to design and manufacturing to create a line of high-quality American-made furnishings. The line has already caught the eye of some of the country’s most notable architects and designers and in April 2017 garnered product design awards from the world’s largest online architecture platform, Architizer.
The Stemn line’s debut offering is a range of six chairs and stools available in multiple finishes. In choosing to start the line with chairs – typically one of the toughest pieces of furniture to make – Fyrn quickly found a set of discerning customers to stress test pilot builds: restaurant owners, tech office spaces, designers and architects such as Sagan Piechotta and EDG Interior Architecture + Design. The line can be found in San Francisco’s highest-profile, design-forward restaurants, including Bellotta, The Morris, and Piccino. Tables, lounge chairs, and other products will follow in late 2017 and early 2018.
The heart of the Stemn design is an exposed, patented bracket that serves as a durable joint and an elegant aesthetic element. It has the added benefit of making the furniture easily assembled, which allows it to be shipped inexpensively. It’s a modern, elevated version of flatpack that you’d actually be proud of, and want to keep.
In considering how to manufacture the line, Fyrn’s founder, Ros Broughton, quickly discovered that conventional manufacturing techniques and equipment were inadequate because they rely upon and incentivize the use of cheap labor while often falling short on quality. So Broughton relied on his unique heritage and 25+ years of furniture making expertise to design and make proprietary hardware and equipment that served his needs.
Ros said, “Instead of starting with the big vision, I started with the constraints. I tried to overcome them through a system of hardware, parts, and pieces that integrated the warmth of wood with the strength of metal. The design of Fyrn Stemn was inspired by thinking about how I could create a scalable manufacturing process in the Bay Area that would allow for high-end furniture to ship easily, making it more accessible to more people. The products had to be straight-forward, for example, a chair should look like a chair, be comfortable and it should last a long long time.
Dave Charne, Fyrn’s co-founder said, “I think of Fyrn as starting a new tradition of craftsmanship in the US, making it relevant and sustainable – in many ways – in today’s economy. And that’s ambitious. We are trying to do some very basic things that feel quite difficult, even extraordinary: we want to restore lasting value to products; we want to offer a good alternative to disposable culture; and we want to prove that manufacturing in the most expensive city in America is possible through innovation and creativity.”