Authors
22.10.2019

Artificial Intelligence

Can you think of an object where you can rest your body without being conditioned by the knowledge and experience of the chairs you know, even without the concept of a chair marking boundaries? This is the kind of challenge that designers often propose to stimulate creativity, and it is not an easy task. Who could carry out such a task? Where can we find that kind of intelligence that is alien to our cultural archetypes? Maybe an extraterrestrial intelligence? Although we are bordering on science fiction, it is not necessary to cross the border of...
17.09.2019

Pessoa's Chair

We do not have any photographs of Fernando Pessoa's chair. In fact, the ones he always had were rentals and on the other hand he preferred to write standing up, leaning on a chest of drawers. And here we have it, in a vulgar room in Lisbon for which he pays four reales, in a tired and anonymous fourth floor where he lives questioning life, looking at the paper half full while a cheap cigarette is consumed on a blotting paper that makes an improvised ashtray. It has recently stopped raining, standing in contemplation as the sunset sneaks through his window. The sky...
03.09.2019

Freud's Chair

Freud liked to read in a somewhat peculiar way. Lying diagonally, with legs dangling on the arm of the chair and the head unsupported, keeping the book upright. To make this position more comfortable, his daughter Matilde gave him this chair designed in 1930 by the architect Felix Augenfeld. Witnesses of all this must have been the many small Greek or Asian Egyptian sculptures that resided on his table. Precious individuals for the stories they represented, these figures belonged to the civilizations that he had so deeply interpreted. They were able to materialize...
22.07.2019

Proust's Stacked Chairs

In the Rue Haussmann apartment, Proust accumulated furniture from the family home. With the death of his mother that residence was full of nostalgia and he decided to leave it, but contradictorily he took all the chairs and tables he could to his new home. The extraordinary memory of Céleste Albaret, transcribed in the form of a book when she was more than eighty years old, has made it possible to reconstruct this apartment in every detail, as well as the habits of its inhabitant. In the unused dining room all kinds of junk accumulated. Furniture of gentrified...
15.04.2019

Prouvé / Hergé?

One wonders how a lounge chair designed by Jean Prouvé ended up in a vacation hotel in Vargèse. Let me remind you that Vergèse is a small mountain village of Haute-Savoie imagined by Hergé that appears in the first vignettes of Tintin au Tibet, the cartoon published in the Journal de Tintin in 1958 and in the form of an album in 1960*. Hergé initiates the vibrant adventure that will lead to the cave of the Yeti with a placid alpine holiday of Tintin, Milú, Haddock and Tornasol. Let's sit down in a room of the Hôtel des Sommets to enjoy that sunset of lazyness in...
14.01.2019

Chairs fall, worlds that tremble

If a chair reclines on the floor: something is not right. This is confirmed by the scene represented by Hogarth. It happens in a luxurious and motley residence. It has been some time since the wedding and the desire - if there was any - has vanished. With it the composure. The lady stretches herself ordinarily. The gentleman is squashed in the chair, obviously convalescing from a night of excess. The butler flees from the scene with a face of horror. Carrying some papers in the hand. Probably unpaid bills. Another servant, in the background, puts his hand to his...
10.12.2018

Portraying chairs

They are seen in profusion in the Encantes or in any old market. They are bought easily and at a good price over the Internet. They are postcards (cartes-de-visite) or portraits for family albums that respond to formats that have been propagated since the mid-nineteenth century, although they are more abundant at the beginning of the 20th century. A good number of these images have a peculiarity that should draw our attention. They are portraits of the entire body of the subjects sitting or leaning on a chair. The chair constitutes a set resource for the...
08.11.2018

The Royal Garden chair

The Royal Garden chair is just a stool with a backrest, but what a back! A light support of steel tube rod that culminates with the drawing of a five-pointed crown topped with two spheres. This motif is replicated in the more harmless light fixtures. In the chairs, the design produces collateral damage. We listen to the manager of the premises that opens that same night to reproach the decorator: Have you seen what happens? It's the fault of your chairs. They leave a mark! Indeed, diners stand up wearing the dry stamp of the aforementioned crown on the jackets and...
30.10.2018

Mrs. Bates' rocking chair

A rocking chair is a rocking chair, unless it enters the object casting of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. And of course, Mrs. Bates’ rocking chair (Psycho, 1960) is part of the cast alongside other “live” characters of the film and, obviously, with Norman Bates’ late mother. Hitchconian suspense and terror is often based on a moral ambiguity and an innate amphibology in which people and objects; people and objects now candid and immaculate that suddenly become guilty and sinister (and vice versa). The scene of an affable old woman in the atrium of her house while...
29.10.2018

A chair like a bucket, an accusation of plagiarism and the five longest seconds in history

The world learned about the Panton Chair for the first time in the August 1967 issue of the Danish magazine Mobilia, which carried it on its front page and dedicated an exclusive graphic report to it. But the history of its design goes back at least eleven years prior and does not end until in 1999, a year after the death of Verner Panton, Vitra put on the market its latest injected polypropylene version. Panton, in fact, argued that the idea assaulted him even earlier, when he worked in the studio of Arne Jacobsen and saw for the first time a fiberglass shell and...
18.10.2018

Reread the past

It was not the first time it happened, that a chair was conceived by architects. Nor was it the first time that it would develop like a small-scale construction of what would later be architectural resolutions. When architects Federico Correa and Alfonso Milà developed the Reno restaurant project in Barcelona’s mythical Tuset Street, they conceived from the structure of the space to the furnishings, and they designed a chair that could be understood as the announcement of an architecture that would arise twenty-five years later in the diagonally opposite corner...
04.10.2018

Stevenson, Henry James, two chairs and five tables

Robert Louis Stevenson was always a restless ass. Tiny and sickly, he lived in many houses, visited many countries and went to die in Samoa, where the locals did not comprehend that a story could be invented and they believed all the amazing stories that Tusitala told them. Perhaps because as a child the doctor prescribed him endless mornings in bed, he had a thorny relationship with the chairs that, according to the critic and friend Edmund William Gosse, he always used eccentrically, with his legs placed across the arms of the lounge chairs or sitting at the...
03.09.2018

Rietveld, Groenekan and the antecessor chair

Gerard van den Groenekan was barely fourteen or fifteen years old in the winter of 1917-1918 when he arrived as an apprentice to the workshop that Gerrit Rietveld - a cabinetmaker and draftsman, according to the records of the city - had opened in May in the Adriaen van Ostadelaan, Utrecht. According to him, it was in the summer of 1918 when in that workshop the first version of modern furniture’s founding chair was created. To celebrate such a feat, Rietveld was photographed in front of the shop window of his workshop, proudly lounging in it and escorted by his...
27.07.2018

Loos sits on his secrets

What will you do when old man Veilich dies?”, says Loos, who was told by clients, never many but select. Josef Veilich made all the chairs for Adolf Loos’ houses from his first works until his death in 1929, and the architect dedicated a heartfelt obituary in the Frankfurter Zeitung where they type like precise bursts of machine gun the ideas on how to respond to the need to sit down that he had been defending since the end of the previous century. Loos is the greatest defender of originality, the modern fetish for excellence: there is no need to invent what is...
20.07.2018

The ghost chairs of Edgar Allan Poe

The “first physiognomist of the domestic space”, Walter Benjamin calls him because the narrators of the Modern Age gave a detailed account of the face and the complexion of their characters, but barely their living quarters. The first nineteenth-century writer who brought the interiors into his stories was Edgar Allan Poe, he also left two specific testimonies on the subject. One is a brief and sarcastic Philosophy of Furniture, published in May 1840 in Philadelphia’s Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, where he makes fun of the bad taste of the domestic interior...
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