It is a little self indulgent I know but I wanted to share my personal favourites from the Take A Seat For Legacy project written about on Design daily previously.
Giving a bunch of creatives a raw bentwood to remodel in any way they choose can be a little dangerous but it can also produce some incredibly interesting results. This year I found myself in awe of a number of the chairs produced for Legacy - a charity dedicated to improving the lives of the families of service personnel killed or incapacitated while serving in Australia's military.
British-born Australian (via Canada) designer Vince Frost, happily admits that his solution to the Take A Seat For Legacy challenge was more inspiration than perspiration. Off the shelf copper pipe turns the delicate little bentwood in to 'chAIR FORCE', a sculptural object-cum-worshipping post for those with a mild obsession with basketball. It's interesting how Frost's playful approach to words and scale (so often found in the pages of books and magazines he has designed) has immediately come into his mind when conceptualising in 3-D.
Channeling his Portuguese roots, Gary Galgo talked me out of a homage to Jaime Hayon's Multi-leg concept (where I was advocating just one wildly turned front leg), into a far more chic pressed leather idea that eventually became the 'Warm' chair. To find out more about the process we went through check out the earlier Design daily post but creating a sleeve that fitted tightly over the frame and was hand-stitched in place was the general aim. A few little brass details helped to convey the horsey 'Hermes' feel we were after.
There is probably a strong temptation to make a really bold statement when asked to reinterpret an existing iconic design, as if the original needs to be altered beyond recognition but architect, Kelvin Ho is a man of subtlety. His commercial interiors for fashion retailers like Sass & Bide and Belinda have shown this time and again. With 'Memory', the resin sections shift from brown to clear and back again as they leave and rejoin the wood, completely retaining the chair's original shape while playing with transparency. At times the legs seem to have partially disappeared raising the question of what's there and what isn't.
Sydney based stylist, author and design consultant, Amanda Talbot, created the 'Remember' chair using a toy soldier image decal applied to porcelain leg and backrest parts, along with the perforated leather seat. Rumour has it that all collaborators were from the lane behind Amanda's current studio. I can't verify the accuracy of these rumours but I do know that the chair is totally beautiful and a really poignant comment on the fragility of people in conflict. The Delf-style blue and white palette adds a layer of historical significance while an embroidered leather seat cushion in perforated Rolls Royce leather continues the toy soldier theme.
One of the standout chairs in last year's Take A Seat For Legacy was by James Gordon and this year's offering is equally magical. Featuring oyster shells, seahorses and even a giant prawn, his intricate paper cuts line the chair's legs, back and seat. Cheekily named 'SEAt' the treatment immediately conjures up many of the things that delight Australians (prawns, barbies oysters and the beach).
Another chair with a strong sea theme was 'Seafarer' by French-born Sydney-based stylist (and dedicated sailor) Sophie Thé. Replacing much of the chair with welded chain, her chair marries soft rope on the seat and back with the obvious strength of anchor chain. Designed to pay tribute to the men and women of the navy with it's white colour reflecting navy uniforms, the chair strikes a jaunty nautical pose complete with a little hanging anchor in the middle of the back rest. An interesting aside is that the welded chain technique was a feature in 60's Australian suburbia in the form of home-made letterboxes.
What started out as a general concept around the use of applied pattern in the form of lacework vectors has ended up as an amazingly detailed appropriation of the Indian temporary tattoo called 'Mehendi'. Lisa Green, the Editor of House & Garden magazine and editorial assistant Lauren Barakat approached Lubna Shezad Pirani, a specialist in the application of Indian Henna based tattoos. Although the small curved surfaces found on the chair proved tricky, Pirani was up to the task and this has led to an incredible blend of Indian and European cultures.The detail is truly amazing.
There is always someone who takes the 'you can do anything' statement of the organisers completely to heart and this year it was Megan Morton, well known Sydney stylist and owner of The School, a studio-cum-selfhelp centre for people interested in boosting their creativity through learning about craft, art and lots more. Her 'chair' has become wall mounted sculpture, hung with leather and ceramic beaker-like 'bells'. The chair's seat has become a mirror and the beauty of the bentwood is revealed in its component parts. Bravo Miss Morton.
To learn more about these and other chairs in the Take a Seat For Legacy project, go to Temple & Websters online reverse auction site here. By purchasing one of the chairs you are not only acquiring a unique piece but giving to a deserving and much loved charity. The auction closes Thursday the 30th October 2014.