chairs

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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.

 

 



Art

An Interactive Installation by Chiharu Shiota Celebrates the Universality of Numbers

October 3, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Photographs courtesy of Muzeum Śląskie

Walking into the gallery space at Muzeum Śląskie that holds Chiharu Shiota’s installation Counting Memories, viewers are immersed in a sea of mismatched, old-fashioned wooden desks and chairs. From each desk, strands of black yarn rise up, tangling together in a dark cloud that consumes the entire upper portion of the high-ceilinged room. And within the cloud of yarn, white numbers are suspended like insects caught in an enormous spider web.

The spacing of the desks provides natural archways for visitors to pass under as they wander through the installation. At each of the nine desks, stacks of paper and pencils are available for viewers to respond to prompts such as “Which number has meaning to you and why?”, “Do numbers tell the truth?”, and  “How many memories do you have?” In a statement on the exhibition, Shiota explains:

Each number defines us individually but also connects us universally. Numbers comfort us, we share dates that are important to us, and they help us understand ourselves. Our history is collected through numbers. In this way, the intertwined string reflects our history, while the numbers, which are scattered sporadically like the stars above Katowitz, represent the most meaningful dates we know.

Shiota (previously) is a Japanese artist who lives and works in Berlin. She is renowned for her large-scale installations that incorporate familiar objects embedded within networks of suspended black, white, or red threads. In addition to Counting Memories, which is on view through April 26, 2020 in Katowice, Poland, Shiota’s solo exhibition The Soul Trembles at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo will be touring Asia until 2021. Follow along with Shiota’s new work and global travels on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 



Design

Upcycled Scaffolding Planks Form Functional Ribbons of Steel and Wood in London’s Broadgate Neighborhood

September 19, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All photographs © Mark Cocksedge

As part of the 2019 London Design Festival, Paul Cocksedge’s ‘Please Be Seated’ has taken over Finsbury Avenue Square in the city’s Broadgate neighborhood. The undulating sculpture is comprised of concentric wooden circles that ribbon up and down to create functional spaces to socialize, rest, and walk through. Cocksedge collaborated with White & White to fabricate the massive steel and upcycled scaffolding wood installation, which the designer described as “walk[ing] the line between a craft object and a design solution. It occupies the square without blocking it.”

With Joana Pinho, Cocksedge co-founded his namesake Studio in 2004. In a statement on their website, the Studio shares their design philosophy: “The key feature of the Studio’s work, in everything from product design to architectural projects, is a focus on simplicity and imagination in order to create unique people-centered designs.” Explore more of the Cocksedge Studio portfolio on their website, and if you enjoy this piece, also check out Yong Ju Lee’s Root Bench, which was installed in South Korea. (via designboom)

 

 



Design

Sanded Down Versions of Mass-Produced Chairs Speak to an Economy in Crisis

July 18, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Dutch designer Frank Tjepkema of Studio Tjep created the Recession Chair in 2011 as a response to the world’s economic crisis. To produce the work, Studio Tjep sanded down a mass-produced IKEA chair to a ragged and skeletal structure. “The resulting object is barely functional as it most likely won’t withstand the weight of the person it is trying to support,” said Tjep in a statement about the chair, “much like a society plagued by recession.”

As an opposing gesture, Tjep cast the work in bronze, adding strength to the chair’s areas of fault. You can see various states of the chair in the images below, including a partially sanded version of the chair in white, and several examples of the piece fully cast in luminous bronze. To view more examples of Tjep’s work with architecture, objects, and interior design, visit their website. (via @designers_need)

 

 



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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