chairs

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Design

Industrial Fire Hoses and Bricks Are Upcycled into a Minimal Outdoor Furniture Set

August 25, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Local Works Studio, shared with permission

Loretta Bosence and Ben Bosence are behind the East Sussex-based Local Works Studio, which recently completed a furniture collection focused on revitalizing what’s been discarded or cast aside. Designed for Maggie’s Southampton cancer center, the functional goods are made almost entirely of upcycled goods sourced nearby. “People who sit in the chairs and touch the surfaces can ‘read’ the story of the furniture and understand where the materials came from. This connection to place and the playful character of the furniture is a powerful antidote to the usual impersonal, sterile environment of a hospital,” the studio said to dezeen.

For the long dining table, designers crushed gravel from the site, which was also combined with damaged and leftover terracotta bricks from the center’s facade to create a terrazzo-style surface for benches and smaller tables. Ground granulated blast-furnace slag, a byproduct of steel, serves as the main binding agent, with only a bit of carbon-dependent concrete added. The studio also shaped leftover material into pavers for seating areas.

Hoses decommissioned by the local Hampshire Fire Service Headquarters—the entity is required to replace its equipment every ten years, meaning the red, water-resistant tubes are abundant in supply—were woven into the backs and seats for dining chairs, loungers, and one-armed models. The textile-like components were then wrapped around steel frames made by the charity Making it Out, which supports people who were formerly incarcerated.

For more sustainable, community-focused designs from Local Works Studio, visit its site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Design

These Wiggly ‘Nervous Chairs’ by Wilkinson & Rivera Channel Our Collective Anxiety

January 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images by Zelie Lockhart, courtesy of Wilkinson & Rivera, shared with permission

If home is a feeling, then the wriggling furniture collection by husband-and-wife Grant Wilkinson and Teresa Rivera are apt representatives of our collective anxieties. The design duo opts for squiggles rather than clean, straight lines in their collection of wooden pieces— the internet dubbed them “nervous chairs” —that appear to quake with uneasiness. Curved legs and arms offer base structure and coiled rungs back support in the ever-growing line of products by their eponymous brand, which is known for putting updated spins on classic pieces. Rivera shares:

Our tastes can be pretty contemporary but we’re fascinated by traditional techniques. We try to incorporate them in each piece: for the Windsor, it’s steam-bending the backrest. For La Silla, we weave the caned seats by hand. For our latest piece, the Welsh Stick Chairs, we included hand-carved barley twists.

Wilkinson and Rivera, who are based in Walthamstow, East London, will launch a few new designs in the next few months, which you can watch for on Instagram, and shop their current collection through The Future Perfect.

 

 

 



Art

A Collection of Wax Sculptures by Artist Urs Fischer Is Burning in the Bourse de Commerce in Paris

August 10, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images courtesy of Bourse de Commerce, shared with permission

A diverse collection of life-size candles occupies the renovated rotunda of Bourse de Commerce in Paris, where it will spend the fall and winter slowly melting into pools of wax. The realistic sculptures are part of Untitled (2011), a redesigned installation by Swiss artist Urs Fischer (previously)—see some of the original works on Artsy—and were lit on the first day of the exhibition. Now partially melted, the ephemeral works are a “monument to impermanence, transformation, the passage of time, metamorphosis, and creative destruction,” a statement says.

At the center of the installation is an exacting replica of Giambologna’s marble “The Abduction of the Sabine Women” (1579-1582), with an effigy of Fischer’s friend and fellow artist Rudolf Stingel nearby. The figurative works are surrounded by seven chairs, four of which are modeled after seats from Mali, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Ethiopia that are part of the collection at Musée du Quai Branly Jacques Chirac. Paired with an airline bench, rolling office chair, and mass-produced garden seat, the eclectic array speaks to the ongoing effects of colonization and globalization.

Untitled (2011) will burn daily through December 31, 2021, or until the wicks disintegrate. (via Ignant)

 

 

 



Design

Fibrous Spikes Poke From a Humorous Pair of Cacti Chairs by Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers

April 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Prickly Pair Chair, Gentleman Style” (2009), 180 x 110 x 50 centimeters. All images © Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers

Before you plop down on one of Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers’s vibrant chairs, take a peek at the spine-covered seat. The Mexican designer has crafted cacti-inspired furniture for her Prickly Pair collection that blends the French Louis XV style with Mexican elements. On each pink and green chair, one or two tall shoots branch off the backs with spiny tufts secured on each button.

A few years ago, Gonzalez Wohlers added a small footstool to the humorous collection that she’s named Baby Peyote. Keep up with the designer’s spiked furniture on Instagram and Facebook, and check out this artist’s piñata variation. (via The Sleep of Reason)

Left: “Prickly Pair Chair, LadyStyle” (2009), 180 x 90 x 50 centimeters. Right: “Prickly Pair Chair, Gentleman Style” (2009), 180 x 110 x 50 centimeters

“Prickly Pair Chair, LadyStyle” (2009), 180 x 90 x 50 centimeters

“Prickly Pair Chair, LadyStyle” (2009), 180 x 90 x 50 centimeters

 

 



Design

Human Backbones and Lotus Leaves Inspire Structural Furniture by Mán-Mán Studio

March 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

“33 Step Tail Chair” (2016), brass, 31.5 x 25.6 x 32.7 inches. All images © Mán-Mán Studio

Designers Daishi Luo and Zhipeng Tan of Mán-Mán Studio have ensured the stability of otherwise impermanent objects, like delicate lotuses and the human spine. Manipulating copper and brass, the pair conceives of tall spinal chairs with pelvis seats and other stools and tables mimicking the tops of lotus pads. The duo told China Design Centre that their frequent use of copper is in part “because of the charm of the material. Copper is alive, its plasticity is very high, and it is not what we always see.”

Because Luo and Tan release limited editions of each structural piece, their projects work counter to larger productions. “This is an introspection behavior in the process of industry. After industrial mass production meets most of the needs of life, handicraft often represents the products of nature and culture. People begin to pursue the appeal of inner spirit instead of fast consumption,” they said.

To see more of the duo’s anatomical projects, head to Daishi’s and Zhipeng’s Instagram pages.

“The 33 Step Chair 0.1” (2015), copper, 21.6 x 23.6 x 43.3 inches, 40 kilograms

Left: “Lotus Stool” (2015), copper, 19.6 x 21.6 x 23.6 inches, 40 kilograms. Middle: “Lotus High Side Table” (2015), copper, 17.7 x 21. 6 x 47.2 inches, 40 kilograms. Right: “Lotus Console Table” (2016), brass, 78.7 x 27.5 x 31.5 inches, 100 kilograms

“Lotus Stool” (2015), copper, 19.6 x 21.6 x 23.6 inches, 40 kilograms

“33 Step Tail Chair” (2016), brass, 31.5 x 25.6 x 32.7 inches

“The 33 Step Chair 0.1” (2015), copper, 21.6 x 23.6 x 43.3 inches, 40 kilograms

Lotus Console Table” (2016), brass, 78.7 x 27.5 x 31.5 inches, 100 kilograms

 

 



Craft Design

Lavishly Adorned Chairs by Annie Evelyn Reimagine the Functional Role of Furniture

November 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Artist Annie Evelyn’s primary medium: wood. Her primary vessel: the chair. One work, “Cathedral Train Chair”, sports an ocean-blue silk train that fans out from a tufted armchair, emulating the fashion symbol of high social status or a special occasion. Another, “Windsor Flower Chair”, surrounds the sitter with a garden of gently curving vertical wood slats, which burst into synthetic blossoms.

“Evelyn uses furniture’s inherent interactive qualities and relationships to the human body to create new and surprising experiences,” reads a statement on the artist’s website. Her “Static Adornment” series reinvents the role of furniture as physical decoration: wall-mounted structures covered in densely layered beads, copper scales, and red roses fit around a human body not as support but as ornamentation.

Evelyn received her BFA and MFA at Rhode Island School of Design, and is currently a Visiting Professor in the furniture department at California College of the Arts. Her work is also a part of Making a Seat at the Table, a group show of female-identifying woodworkers on view through January 18, 2020 in Philadelphia. Keep up with Evelyn’s latest projects and inspiration on Instagram, and explore more of her portfolio on her website.