Ah, the simple chair. It has one straightforward function: to seat the human rear. And while the invention has been around for centuries, artisans from just about every time period and culture have put their own spin on what has become a fundamental icon of industrial design.
More recently, New York gallery The Future Perfect held an exhibition showcasing several one-of-a-kind chairs made by many different architects, sculptors, artists, and designers. Aptly-titled “The Chair’, the show featured both functional chairs (meaning those that visitors can sit on) as well as conceptual chairs that studied form over function.
If you’re thinking, “how fascinating could yet another exhibit on chairs be?”, then you would be pleasantly surprised. In total, 48 chairs were featured in the show; none of which were even remotely similar to one another, and many of which were fresh ideas of the old classic.
You have Marcin Rusak’s “Protoplasting No. 5.” which is made from and inspired by different kinds of leaves. By casting the leaves in resin, Rusak was able to preserve their lushness and color while giving the chair a tree bark-like appearance.
The “Melt Chair” by Bower Studios takes inspiration from ancient Egypt and thus has a regal appearance to it. The chair is made from imperial green marble while the legs and base are made of brass.
One of the more “out there” designs comes from Ara Thorose, whose “5+5M Conversation” chair uses her signature tubular design and is made from steel, foam, leather, and rubber. In actuality, this piece makes for two opposing chairs which are comprised of one single, curving tube of foam. By curving the material ten times in various directions, Thorose was able to make one piece fit two people.
Among the more humorous concepts, Katie Kimmel’s “Poodle Seat” is described as “a dumb dog with a dent on his head.” Seeing as Katie is a ceramic artist and loves cute characters with clueless expressions on their faces, this ceramic take on the chair just about sums up everything she’s about as an artist.
Take a look at the full collection—and maybe gain some inspiration for your own next chair project—over at The Future Perfect.