My friend Thomas Wiuf, a gifted photographer, is in India right now to take some pictures of adequate ways of sitting. I am not sure about the story behind this image, but I will soon find out, when he is back. Until then, I will keep myself entertained with his amazing blog and photographs.
The white plastic chair of an unknown designer is one of the most disregarded design classics. It is designed for the usage outdoors and in a temporary context. This means it is very affordable, light and therefor easy to carry, stackable and almost unbreakable.
Its lack of character, which might have helped the white plastic chair to become a internationally known piece of furniture, and its cheap look and feel are the only flaws to be identified. The swedish design trio Front answered to this by covering the seating area in black leather. The colour adds visual heaviness of a club chair and the changed surface hints at the luxury of a “real” designer chair.
Unfortunately the lightness and usage of negative space within the white plastic chairs form leads to instability, which users interpret as uncomfortable, especially if they sit down for a heavy dinner. A sicilian trattoria solves this problem by building on one of the white plastic chairs virtue: achieving an increase of stability by stacking a second chair on top.
Facebook is not really like a chair, don´t believe this shit, even if this video leaves a warm and fluffy feeling inside.
You won´t recognize a design capital by its fashionable people, crazy advertising, adventurous architecture or famous design schools. Obviously, you will identify it by the chairs used in public space, especially in street cafés. Now take this, Helsinki!
Before the pale memory of this recent night in Berlin fades away completely, it needs to be conserved: it was very late, one of too many warehouse raves and vodka mate. The bouncer sits still, while everyone else is restlessly cruising through the night. How nice, that he chose a racing seat to spend the night on.
Summer is already there and if your body is still behind it is time for some action. What a splendid choice of training equipment the wallpaper magazine made! Check out the instruction video.
Fremdform Designbüro from Dortmund are a hospital for broken chairs. Katrin and Pierre are the brave soldiers in the trench rescuing and treating the patients in the best possible way. Yet, the chairs will always stay convalescent, with never healing scars. Even though the best days are over, each chair continues its life in dignity.
Bastian has been inspired by a kneeling person, when he designed the KneelStool. I would suggest the name “Engagement Chair”. Until today it was the first time, someone kneeled down infront of me. Before I get carried away in romance, it is worth hinting on the textile useage at the back: in former days, sofa owners could chose, if they wanted to save some money and have the back upholstered in a cheaper cloth. The KneelStools back however is more precious than its front. I would marry such an humble aspirant in an instant.
The Ulmer Hocker was designed in 1954 by Max Bill, Hans Gugelot and Paul Hildinger, teachers from the newly established Ulmer Hochschule für Gestaltung in order to provide seating opportunities for students and staff.
In a contemporary office environment these unimpressive stools hardly hint at the meaning they had back then: The materialized manifesto of a young institution which tried the departure towards a counterculture long before 1968.
In the surrounding of a cool and stylish digital communication agency, this chair is reduced to show off cultural education, just like a book of Jonathan Meese on Christian Wulff´s coffee table.
Yet, how design-uneducated one might be, the usage of the chair makes it tangible: While my superior leans back in his comfortable office chair, I am supposed to sit still on the stool to be talked at for 15 minutes. Because this is unbearable, I must twist, turn, stretch or even stand up to relief tensions in my body. And this is where the political kicks in: Max Bill did not want comfortable and idle students, he wanted them to rise - to stand up against commerce and consumerism - with a flexible and active mind.
So be aware superiors, next time it might be more clever if you offered me the office chair, while you sat down on the lovely Ulmer Hocker.
compare to: Selle G. (2007): Geschichte des Design in Deutschland. Campus Verlag, Frankfurt a.M., 240-243.
Mixing berber & trekking culture in Tahannaout, a mountain village.
Folding chairs of a sales man in the souk. For the picture he changed chairs and sat on the coke boxes.
At first one might think the powerless fear the ones in power. They fear the injustice and arbitrary, which results in an imbalance of assertiveness.
However, Hadi Teherani´s chair Silver 362S tells a different story: Power leads to fear, because it can be lost. The powerful do not feel save anymore, they need protection just like knights need their armature.