BEHIND THE DESIGN: ZACHARY A.’S ARTISTIC & UNIQUE PATIO FURNITURE

Various pieces of furniture in front of an outdoor fireplace.

THE DRIFT

Chicago-based brand Zachary A. Design’s unique patio furniture is crafted from a game-changing blend of stone, resin, and fiberglass. The result: faux-concrete furniture that has all the durability of concrete while remaining incredibly lightweight. What’s more, Zachary A’s selection of modern patio furniture is designed with an artist’s intuition, featuring sculptural shapes that echo the lines found in Brutalist architecture. Here, we founder Zac Bitner shares details on:

  • • The masterful blend of materials that produces resilient and lightweight faux-concrete furniture
  • • The artistic inspiration behind Zachary A. Design’s product designs
  • • How the brand seamlessly blends form and function in its selection of durable outdoor furniture

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Each piece of handmade, faux-concrete furniture from Zachary A. Design is an unexpected combination of art and science. Crafted from expertly blended materials, the brand’s unique patio furniture is highly durable yet lightweight, sculptural yet practical. Among the product selection: dining furniture, lounge furniture, and accent pieces, all of which are as sleek as they are substantial. Here, we spoke with Founder and Lead Designer Zac Bitner about the materials and design process that make Zachary A.’s modern patio furniture so unique.

A concrete table with concrete benches.

SUBSTANTIAL YET LIGHTWEIGHT

All Zachary A. furniture is made from a unique blend of stone, resin, and fiberglass, resulting in faux-concrete furniture that’s highly durable yet incredibly lightweight.

“The first layer of stone and resin gives every Zachary A. piece the stone look and feel,” says Bitner. “We add a second layer of fiberglass to reinforce the top layer through all four seasons. The fiberglass is what gives a piece its structural strength, and also its lightweight quality. Our special technique utilizing fiberglass and resin allows us to create large, durable, outdoor furniture that’s hollow. This significantly reduces the weight and also gives us a lot more play when we design more complex shapes.”

Zachary A.’s furniture mimics not only the look of concrete but the texture, too. “Our texture is achieved through a balance of artful craft and exploring the organic details of stone that give our finishes that effect,” says Bitner. “It takes a lot of ingenuity to get there and a strong eye for details.”

“I LIKE TO THINK OF OUR PIECES AS SCULPTURES, AS MUCH AS THEM BEING A PIECE OF FURNITURE.”

— Zac Bitner, Founder & Lead Designer, Zachary A. Design

Various chairs.

AN ARTIST’S EYE

Considering the sculptural, geometric shapes that define Zachary A.’s unique patio furniture, it’s no surprise that Bitner approaches product design with an artist’s eye while keeping in mind the practical application of his furniture.

“I’ve always had an interest in monolithic structures in both architecture and art,” he says. “Richard Serra, Brutalist architecture—I think of these when designing shapes. I like to think of our pieces as sculptures as much as them being a piece of furniture and how a piece might stand alone in nature, covered in snow, or on a patio surrounded by other pieces. The sculptural presence provides a tremendous amount of value for the owner in the off-season.”

Though Zachary A.’s blend of materials is scientific, Bitner’s approach to design “is very intuitive because of the material we use. I tend to lean towards simplicity in style with a lot of thought on comfort and how it will be used. Stone and fiberglass are both very rigid and hard materials; at the same time, there are endless possibilities with form. It makes you consider a lot when designing.”

“PEOPLE SEE OUR FURNITURE AND THINK THEY CAN’T POSSIBLY MOVE IT. THEN THERE’S THIS AMAZEMENT THAT COMES WHEN THEY LIFT A PIECE SO EFFORTLESSLY.”

— Zac Bitner, Founder & Lead Designer, Zachary A. Design

A small table made out of stone.

PRACTICAL MEETS PRETTY

Because Zachary A.’s faux-concrete outdoor furniture is extraordinarily lightweight—and designed with weather-resistant materials that stand the test of time—each piece is as functional as it is beautiful.

“At times, our volumetric pieces are a grounding motif to the exterior designer, especially when paired with thin and sleek pieces,” says Bitner. “Their timeless forms and neutral tones pair well with many different styles. All of our furniture is also lightweight and durable, making them very practical for a variety of environments.”

It’s this unexpected practicality that makes Zachary A.’s unique patio furniture special. “At first, it was about making stone objects more practical and easier to use,” Bitner says. “Later, we discovered this unexpected quality added a sense of wonder…People see it and think they can’t possibly move it. Then there’s this amazement that comes when they lift a piece so effortlessly. It’s a quality that was always there, but we had to find it. The unexpected is a driving force for us.”

Two concrete dining chairs.

FIND UNIQUE PATIO FURNITURE WITH ZACHARY A. DESIGN

“We are constantly experimenting, creating, and finding new ways to use the materials at hand,” says Bitner. We have a very collaborative environment here and are always looking for new ways to create something no one has ever seen before.”

Zachara A. Design’s unique patio furniture is available through AuthenTEAK. Shop faux-concrete furniture made from a lightweight blend of stone, resin, and fiberglass.

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