chairs

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Design

What’s New Is Old Again: A Classic Norwegian Chair Produced with 100% Recycled Materials

February 6, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

The newest chair by Nordic Comfort Products (NCP) is a unique and sustainable twist on an old classic. Their R-48 model has furnished schools and offices since the 1960s, but has previously required virgin plastic and a metal base. Their recent addition, the S-1500, was designed by international design firm Snøhetta, and is constructed from nothing new. The marbled green chair is composed of 100% recycled plastic sourced from local fish farming companies’ old fish nets, ropes, and pipes and a subframe made from recycled steel.

The design is a result of a two-year research project by Snøhetta to investigate plastic’s journey through the supply chain and see how it might be repurposed as a building material once it has served its original purpose. Typically NCP uses plastic from China to create their furniture. Their new chairs will create a local, circular economy which puts to use the worn out tools of neighboring businesses while also cutting down on fossil emissions from shipping materials internationally. The chair will be showcased at the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair from February 5 to 9, 2019. You can see other ways Snøhetta is putting their plastic research to use on their website and Instagram. (via Fast Company)

 

 



Art

Secondhand Armchairs and Loveseats Reconstructed Into Dripping Multi-Media Sculptures by Nina Saunders

December 12, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Danish artist Nina Saunders creates sculptures that drip, tip, and spill what appears to be amorphous contents onto the ground, turning domestic objects of comfort and kitsch into sculptural pieces unintended for practical use. Her works typically involve secondhand furniture like armchairs and love seats, with the occasional melting piano thrown into her multi-media practice. Floral fabrics run from chair to floor, while the shiny black exterior of a piano seems to leak from its position on the balcony of a busy mall.

No matter what alteration Saunders makes to her collected furniture objects, they are always rendered unusable, with cushions ballooned to an abnormal proportion or legs leaning to an unnaturally slanted angle. Several of her works were included in the recent Hang-Up Collections Exhibition at Hang-Up Gallery in London alongside works by Banksy, David Shrigley, Bonnie and Clyde, and several others. You can see more of Saunders’ sculptural works on her website.

 

 



Art

Modified Office Chairs Perform an Autonomous Dance Through Gagosian Gallery

September 11, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Nine office chairs, each in a dazzling jewel tone, swirl and scuttle across the reflective floor of Gagosian‘s West 21st Street gallery. PLAY was conceived by Swiss artist Urs Fischer (previously) with choreography for the inanimate objects provided by New York City-based artist Madeline Hollander. The self-propelled furniture is controlled by programming and sensors embedded in their seats which moves them away from visitors or towards each other while swirling through the extensive space. When the performative chairs are running low on battery, they are programmed to head to a machine located inside the gallery that automatically replaces their seats.

Visitors may walk through the herd of functional chairs, observing the pieces as they group together, move in synchronized turns, or scatter. You can interact with the objects yourself during PLAY’s run at Gagosian through October 13, 2018. (via Artsy)

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Design

Tree Stump Patterns Transformed into Bronze and Etched Brass Chairs by Sharon Sides

August 9, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

“Flor Chair” (2015), bronze, hand formed acid etched brass, 28.4 x 23/6 x 37.4 inches

Israeli designer Sharon Sides translates natural forms into designed objects by digitally transferring their patterns onto metal. In her series of bronze and acid-etched brass furniture titled Stumps, she utilizes the concentric rings of tree stumps to create richly textured surfaces. As a way to more deeply connect each piece to the object it is inspired by, Sides also keeps the edges of her tables and chairs as close to the stump shapes as possible, and molds the furniture’s legs to appear like twigs or branches. You can watch the design process behind Sides’s series of tree-inspired objects in the video below.

“Flor Chair” (2015), detail

“Flor Chair” (2015), detail

“Flor Chair” (2015), detail

“Flor Chair” (2015), detail

“Lean Coffee Table” (2015), hand formed acid etched brass, bronze, stacked laminated oak, 37 x 37 x 15.75 inches

“Echo Side Table” (2015), hand formed acid etched brass, bronze, stacked laminated oak, 22.75 x 22 x 19 inches

“Echo Side Table” (2015), hand formed acid etched brass, bronze, stacked laminated oak, 22.75 x 22 x 19 inches

 

 



Art

Masses of Wooden Chairs Pour From Old Villas by Karin van der Molen

July 23, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"Flux" (2015), Domaine du Rayol, Rayol du Canadel, France, all images via Karin van der Molen

“Flux” (2015), Domaine du Rayol, Rayol du Canadel, France, all images via Karin van der Molen

Site-specific installation artist Karin van der Molen creates connections between the natural and man-made through chair-based works that flow from the windows of aging villas. In her 2015 piece Flux the Dutch artist created one of her installations at the Le Rayolet in the botanical garden Domaine du Rayol. The wooden chairs meld into a stream of organized logs that connect the work to the surrounding gardens. The piece seems to go from solid to fluid, forming a bridge that she explains “makes us aware of the cross-over between culture and nature.” Molen produces a similar effect in A Wave of Nostalgia which she installed at the Museum Lolland-Falster in Pederstrup, Denmark in 2014. You can view a wider range of her installations on her website. (via WOMENSART)

"Flux" (2015), Domaine du Rayol, Rayol du Canadel, France

“Flux” (2015), Domaine du Rayol, Rayol du Canadel, France

"Flux" (2015), Domaine du Rayol, Rayol du Canadel, France

“Flux” (2015), Domaine du Rayol, Rayol du Canadel, France

"A Wave of Nostalgia" (2014), Museum Lolland-Falster, Pederstrup, Denmark

“A Wave of Nostalgia” (2014), Museum Lolland-Falster, Pederstrup, Denmark

"A Wave of Nostalgia" (2014), Museum Lolland-Falster, Pederstrup, Denmark

“A Wave of Nostalgia” (2014), Museum Lolland-Falster, Pederstrup, Denmark

"A Wave of Nostalgia" (2014), Museum Lolland-Falster, Pederstrup, Denmark

“A Wave of Nostalgia” (2014), Museum Lolland-Falster, Pederstrup, Denmark

"A Wave of Nostalgia" (2014), Museum Lolland-Falster, Pederstrup, Denmark

“A Wave of Nostalgia” (2014), Museum Lolland-Falster, Pederstrup, Denmark

 

 

 



Art

Impractical Wooden Furniture Created to Blend Into its Natural Environment

May 31, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"The Jones: Part 2" (2017), sculpted fallen trees from Manhattan, 66 x 72 x 48 inches

“The Jones: Part 2” (2017), sculpted fallen trees from Manhattan, 66 x 72 x 48 inches

Hugh Hayden builds furniture not intended for human use, crafting benches and chairs from pieces of wood without removing the original branches or twigs. In these sculptural works the stray forms make it nearly impossible to use the object as a piece of furniture. The shape an Adirondack chair is present, like in his piece The Jones and Other Borrowed Ideas, yet its impediments make sitting an uncomfortable challenge.

Hayden’s imbedded branches serve as a camouflage system that explores how his designed objects might blend into a natural landscape. His piece “Brier Patch,” which features six carved school desks, “juxtaposes the organic, unpredictability of the natural world (e.g. undergrowth,
a thicket etc.) with the ordered and disciplined pursuit of education and greater civilization,” he explains. “The branches extending from the desks are entangled and materialize this integration into the landscape or environment, creating a visible, unifying space, that is at once protective and impenetrable.”

His solo exhibition at White Columns runs through June 2, 2018, and is his first in New York City. Hayden recently received is MFA in Sculpture from Columbia University, and his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University in 2007. You can see more of his sculptures on his website and Instagram.

"The Jones: Part 2" (2017), sculpted fallen trees from Manhattan, 66 x 72 x 48 inches

“The Jones: Part 2” (2017), sculpted fallen trees from Manhattan, 66 x 72 x 48 inches

"Brier Patch" (2018), sculpted wood and hardware, dimensions variable

“Brier Patch” (2018), sculpted wood and hardware, dimensions variable

Detail of "Brier Patch" (2018), sculpted wood and hardware, dimensions variable

Detail of “Brier Patch” (2018), sculpted wood and hardware, dimensions variable

Detail of "Brier Patch" (2018), sculpted wood and hardware, dimensions variable

Detail of “Brier Patch” (2018), sculpted wood and hardware, dimensions variable

"Hangers" (2018), sculpted wood and garment rack, 60 x 66 x 30 inches

“Hangers” (2018), sculpted wood and garment rack, 60 x 66 x 30 inches

Detail of "Hangers" (2018), sculpted wood and garment rack, 60 x 66 x 30 inches

Detail of “Hangers” (2018), sculpted wood and garment rack, 60 x 66 x 30 inches

Detail of "Hangers" (2018), sculpted wood and garment rack, 60 x 66 x 30 inches

Detail of “Hangers” (2018), sculpted wood and garment rack, 60 x 66 x 30 inches

"The Jones and Other Borrowed Ideas" (2017), sculpted fallen hemlock, 40 x 48 x 53 inches

“The Jones and Other Borrowed Ideas” (2017), sculpted fallen hemlock, 40 x 48 x 53 inches

"Untitled Lexus Dash" (2017), sculpted wood from Harlem park, 60 x 48 x 42 inches

“Untitled Lexus Dash” (2017), sculpted wood from Harlem park, 60 x 48 x 42 inches

 

 



Art Design

Full Grown: Trees Grown into Furniture and Art Objects

December 21, 2016

Christopher Jobson

chair-1

Full Grown’s prototype willow chair now in the permanent collection at the National Museum of Scotland.

The most common way of producing wooden furniture is fairly straightforward: grow the proper trees for a few decades, chop ’em down, cut them into smaller pieces and assemble the pieces into a chair. Derbyshire-based furniture designer Gavin Munro wondered if he could try a wholly different approach: what if he could just grow chairs? What if trees could be forced to grow in chair-like shapes and through strategic sculpting and grafting result in an annual “chair harvest.” After a lengthy years-long trial in his mother’s garden and a sturdy proof-of-concept, Full Grown was born.

Munro points out that the idea of growing furniture actually dates back millennia. The Chinese were known to dig holes to fill with chair-shaped rocks and had tree roots grow through the gaps, while the Egyptians and Greeks had a method for growing small stools. But Full Grown appears to be on a scale entirely of its own, with an entire farm destined to be harvested into chairs, assorted light fixtures, and other unusual objects. He shares a bit about the process which can take between 4 to 8 years:

In essence it’s an incredibly simple art. You start by training and pruning young tree branches as they grow over specially made formers. At certain points we then graft them together so that the object grows into one solid piece – I’m interested in the way that this is like an organic 3D printing that uses air, soil and sunshine as its source materials. After it’s grown into the shape we want, we continue to care for and nurture the tree, while it thickens and matures, before harvesting it in the winter and then letting it season and dry. It’s then a matter of planing and finishing to show off the wood and grain inside.

Full Grown’s first prototype willow chair has already found its way into the permanent collection at the National Museum of Scotland, and Munro and his team just launched a Kickstarter to help them bridge the gap in the final year before their first harvest, nearly 11 years in the making. You can learn more on their website.

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