Wednesday, August 05, 2015

20th Century Design - chairs and the challenges of Post Modernism

A Parker-Knoll or copy?

The rather excellent tour that OEN Ealing's Nick Pearson has taken un on is sadly getting close to the end, what has been one of many useful 'takeaways' has been the challenge that designers have found in chairs.

Chairs are more often than we might first think copies or knock-offs, the famous chair modelled by Christine Keeler comes to mind it's not actually an Arne Jacobsen as it is often credited but a 'copy'

Chairs have been heavily affected by changes in what has become a 'mass'  production process no longer intimately connected with craft and skill to such an extent that like so much furniture any assembly required is often completed by the purchaser.

It has been striking to see some chairs which have appeared timeless (the bistro chair for example) and some which are stuck in a certain time - others go beyond time and are almost timeless.
A 1992 chair that uses recycled materials
Other changes which are brought into focus when we look at the evolution of the chair is the change in materials used and the idea that it (like so much) is disposable - but having said that the more enlightened producers and consumers are now looking at a greener approach where materials may be recovered.

Post Modernism rears it's head

Yesterday Nick moved us to a chapter in design  that seems to still be with us but which challenges me in defining and accepting  (much as it does in other fields like Philosophy) .

Fortunately I found a podcast which does give some more insight beyond that which was presented yesterday - it's around a V&A exhibition and the podcast is from the FT - if you want another perspective on the topic I'd recommend it .
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