Friday, August 19, 2011

I Heart Martino Gamper — Pt. 2

"There is no perfect chair." — Martino Gamper
In 2007, after spending 2 years collecting discarded and donated chairs, designer Martino Gamper decided to make 100 Chairs in 100 Days. Creating the new chairs from elements of the existing ones. With the time constraint of making a new chair each day, the process became immediate and spontaneous — like sketching in three dimension. Below are a few of my favorites, I love the sweet, clever names given to each chair.
Mono Suede - The 1st out of 100 and Gamper's personal fave
Jules with Friend
Ply on Ply — uses the plywood from old school chairs.
Multiple Choice
 Side Effect Chair
 Charles and Ply
 Painter's Mate
Lego - "After taking apart many of the found chairs I ended up with a lot of single legs."
 Olympia
"In a way, the whole process of finding and reconstructing chairs works more like a sketchbook — it should be possible to ‘design’ and ‘sketch’ in 3D."
<3 <3 <3


100 Chairs in 100 Days
London
October 2007
This project involves systematically collecting discarded chairs from London streets (or more frequently, friends’ homes) over a period of about roughly two years, then spending 100 days to reconfiguring the design of each one in an attempt to transform its character and/or the way it functions. My intention is to investigate the potential for creating useful new designs by blending together stylistic or structural elements of existing chair types.
I see this as a chance to create a ‘three-dimensional sketchbook’, a set of playful yet thought-provoking designs that, due to the time constraint, are put together with a minimum of analysis. As well as possibly making one or more designs that might be suitable for mass production, I intend to question the idea of there being an innate superiority in the one-off, to use this mongrel morphology to demonstrate the difficulty of any particular design being objectively judged ‘the best’. I also hopes my chairs illustrate – and celebrate – the geographical, historical and human resonance of design: what can they tell us about London, the sociological context of seating from different areas, and the people who owned each one? The stories behind the chairs are as important as their style or even their function.
The project suggests a new way to stimulate design thinking, and provokes debate about a number of issues, including value, different types of functionality and what is an appropriate style for certain types of chair – for example, what happens to the status and potential of a plastic garden chair (conventionally located slap bang in the idiom of unremarkable functionality) when it is upholstered with luxurious brown suede? In essence, this exercise champions a certain elasticity of approach – both in terms in highlighting the importance of the sociological/personal/geographical/historical context of design, and in enabling the creative potential of elements of randomness and spontaneity to be brought to the fore.
M.G


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