January 1, 1970
Fyrn Stemn Collection
Cheap, temporary, disposable: Many have come to expect these qualities in mass- market furnishings. The tradition of hand- ing down cherished family heirlooms is increasingly at odds with the contemporary tendency toward small living spaces, frequent moves, and a minimalist mate- rial culture. In the San Francisco workshop of furniture maker Fyrn, however, there exists […]
Cheap, temporary, disposable: Many have come to expect these qualities in mass- market furnishings. The tradition of hand- ing down cherished family heirlooms is increasingly at odds with the contemporary tendency toward small living spaces, frequent moves, and a minimalist mate- rial culture.
In the San Francisco workshop of furniture maker Fyrn, however, there exists an alternative—one that is long-lasting and particleboard-free. Through Stemn, an innovative bracket system that forms the basis of the eponymous furniture line, Fyrn seeks to dispel the notion that flat- pack furniture must be of lesser quality. “We believe that if you know the story of a chair’s origin and you live with it for decades, then it begins to hold a value that is greater than itself,” says cofounder David Charne.
Released in 2016, Stemn is the brain- child of Ros Broughton, a fourth-generation craftsman and a cofounder of Fyrn. Over two years, Broughton and the Fyrn team developed a series of heirloom-quality chairs and stools with a patented metal joint system that lends structural integrity to the designs and allows them to ship flat. These exposed aluminum components hold the structure together while lending a sophisticated architectonic appearance, and are available in black, graphite, cop- per, or matte-silver options. To form the seats and backs, sustainably harvested North American oak and walnut are bent- laminated into gentle curves rendered in blond, oxidized, or charcoal finishes. With so few components, the Stemn line is lightweight, ranging from nine to 14 pounds, and can be assembled and disassembled with relative ease. For those who prefer to keep their sleeves rolled down, the pieces can be ordered fully assembled for a premium.
Since the firm’s founding, Fyrn has expanded rapidly, proving popular in hospi- tality design circles. The line’s industrial-chic styling and replaceable kit-of-parts system make a compelling case for use in high- traffic environments. This month at ICFF (booth 1031), new upholstered versions of Stemn with padded seats and extended backrests will give customers cozier options besides the standard options of wood or leather. Despite the Bay Area’s high costs, the company is committed to its goal of making high-quality furniture accessible. “We started Fyrn by developing the Stemn system in order to offer an alternative to the current use-and-discard culture,” says Charne. “It may not be the best business practice, but we offer a product that may never need to be replaced.”
Andrés Jaque On Mud Architecture