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Chairs – what’s not to like about them? Every designer worth their salt has designed a chair and it has often become their seminal piece. This is because chairs are both ubiquitous and personal – the ideal canvas for a designer to express their ideas. It is a test of use of material, as well as a cultural commentary. In a day where design manifestos are out we need to look at the actual pieces to understand what designers are trying to say and, refreshingly, this is not a difficult task as it once was, because the work of current designers is playfully transparent in its intention. It just doesn’t take itself too seriously. Here is a book that takes some of the most innovative furniture designers and showcases their work in all its cleverness, simplicity, resourcefulness, and in some cases, wacked-outness. There is innovation and inspiration on every page.
If you want to see stunning examples of using materials in ways that truly exploit the properties of those materials, you’ll find it in spades. Unconventional processes, clever joins, amazing combinations of materials, tessellation, interlocking, modulararity, digitally influenced, flat packed, stunningly simple solutions enough to make you weep – all here. These works represent a revival of artisanal craft and a new kind of storytelling that is so yearned for in a post industrialist society. Happily there are more than just chairs. Take a look at the lighting and a full range of other furniture showcased in the book. Use this book as a reference, but mostly for stimulation when you need to help students generate ideas. It would even be worth exposing your students to the ideas of these designers for no other reason than to keep up to date with current trends and new processes. Our job as design educators is to help our students to keep looking and be stimulated by the designed world around them, and this book helps that cause.
Crazy, cool, inspirational. Designs to make you think.
Edited by R. Klantenm, S. Ehmann, A. Kupetz, S. Moreno - 271 pages - 2009 - Gestalten, Berlin