Chair: Social Seating

I’ve got an end-of-semester project in a seating design class coming along. I’ve posted my Solidworks renders here: 21 Chair by Ryan Shields at Coroflot.com but need help figuring out the mechanics of the joints and making the chair position available without compromising the bench seating and the structure. Ideally, I’d use pipes as joints, allowing unobstructed view to the other side at these holes. I really would like some help making this concept viable when I start constructing it later this week.
Thanks,
shields

If you are hell bent on that exact idea, I think you are probably correct in the pipe as a joint. You could hold the position by something as simple as a locking mechanism on the sides (think about the chaise lounges with foldable back). Obviously you would have to work to make it fit into your design, bu it is a fairly easy and low cost way of doing it. If you want to hide it, you can always cut out notches in the pipe itself in order to have it ‘lock’ into certain positions. You can also make a nice detail with inserting a bushing into each wood slat.

However, Im a little miffed on the design. Why the slats? Im assuming this is supposed to be a seat for casual conversation/interactions between people? My biggest concern in the comfort level. Have you sat on a Nelson bench? I dont think i would last more than 5 minutes on it, hardly enough time for any decent conversation.