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Harry and Claudia Washington.
The Diego lounge, designed by Harry and Claudia Washington for Bernhard Design.
The Diego lounge, designed by Harry and Claudia Washington for Bernhard Design.
The Diego lounge, designed by Harry and Claudia Washington for Bernhard Design.
The Diego lounge, designed by Harry and Claudia Washington for Bernhard Design.
The Diego lounge, designed by Harry and Claudia Washington for Bernhard Design.
The Diego lounge, designed by Harry and Claudia Washington for Bernhard Design.
Design

The Story Behind Bernhardt’s Perfectly Portable Diego Lounge

By Katy Donoghue

July 2, 2018

At ICFF in May, Bernhardt Design presented a number of new products—including textiles by Iranian designer Taher Asad Bakhtiari, seating by Danish designer Claus Breinholt, a credenza from the late Charles Pollock, and more. What caught our eye in particular was a chair by Salvadorian designers Harry and Claudia Washington, the Salvadorian designers.

Named the Diego lounge (named after the couple’s four-year-old-son), the seat is can easily be moved from room to room, providing the ultimate function for the way we live today. It was inspired by racecar bucket seats and features a small magnetic tab that helps to pull or push it wherever you’d like with ease.

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Harry and Claudia Washington.

Whitewall caught up with Harry and Claudia to hear more about the ingenious Diego.

WHITEWALL: What was the initial idea for the Diego lounge?

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The Diego lounge, designed by Harry and Claudia Washington for Bernhard Design.

HARRY & CLAUDIA WASHINGTON: We wanted to create a casual, yet functional chair that adapted to our lives at home and in the studio.

The chair was named after our four-year-old son who constantly keeps us on the move! Diego’s got an active yet defined personality, so, there are parallels that can be drawn between the chairs characteristics and Diego´s.

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The Diego lounge, designed by Harry and Claudia Washington for Bernhard Design.

We were greatly inspired by vintage race car bucket-seats that provide a specific kind of hold to the body, but we wanted to translate this form into a lounge chair, which is not something we had seen before. The seat’s accentuating edges also embrace the user without restriction, offering both mobility and flexibility.

WW: How did you arrive at the inspiration of vintage race car for the shape of the lounge?

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The Diego lounge, designed by Harry and Claudia Washington for Bernhard Design.

HW: I have a passion for classic cars and cars in general and have always felt there´s something particularly unique about bucket seats. They’re meant to hold you, provide comfort and support, whilst seeing the body through particular conditions of movement, speed and curves.

We believed that deciding on our base inspiration would create a perfect starting point. Specifically, it creates a perfect scenario where you are able to find your most comfortable seating condition.

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The Diego lounge, designed by Harry and Claudia Washington for Bernhard Design.

WW: What has been the most challenging aspect of creating an easily moveable lounge?

HW & CW: We see that in many so-called moveable chairs, they either move too much, or too little. As Diego is a moveable lounge chair, size, weight, and practicality created additional challenges. In the end, Diego needed to move with just a slight pull to the handle.

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The Diego lounge, designed by Harry and Claudia Washington for Bernhard Design.

WW: Can you tell us about the unique handle feature?

HW & CW: The handle had to be perfect. It needed to be a subtle detail, but it also need to be eye-catching enough for the user. You want for people to understand that it’s an object that’s meant to be moved and that there’s a handle for that. Another unique feature of the handle is the popping sound of the magnet. It has a nice feel to it. The idea behind the magnet was to provide the handle with an element that would allow for the chair to go back to being tidy and trim after its use. When the handle is let go, both gravity and the magnet do all the work.

WW: What is your top design must-have for the home?

HW: HAY´s CAP bottle opener by designer Shane Schneck.

CW: Our Raindance S HansGrohe shower. Basic, yet extremely functional!

WW: What personal object best represents your taste/style?

HW: My Raleigh Denim jeans. A gift from brand founders Victor and Sarah Lytvinenko.

CW: Leather handbag by Costa Rican brand CueroPapel &Tijera.

WW: You must travel a good deal. What’s a city you’ve been to recently you’re itching to get back to?

HW & CW: Madrid! They have great food, great design, and amazing people. We have family and friends there, and it´s always nice to mix some work with pleasure.

WW: How do you unwind after a long day in the studio?

HW: I end my day at karate classes. I have been doing it for about two years now. It´s a great stress reliever.

CW: I practice and train at a dance studio. It really makes my day.

BernhardtClaudia WashingtonHarry WashingtonICFFKaty DonoghueWhitewallWhitewaller

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