Stories on Design: Chair Installations, Curated by Yellowtrace

 

I love getting a bit kookie every once in a while with our Stories, and today is definitely one of those days. I bet you never though of a chair as much more than an inanimate object you sit on (or devour with you eyes, as is the case with all furniture nerds such as myself.) Chairs are the holy grail of furniture design world. In architecture and interior design, a lot of time can be spent on choosing the perfect chair to complement the interior – we all know that furniture choices can truly make or break a space. So much meaning, history, psychology and design values is attached to chairs.

Alas, today we are looking at a chair a little bit differently. Why? Why not! I think it’s incredibly important to be aware of the power of every single object or a design element, and examine it’s ability to singlehandedly transform a space. I’ve also always found it super important to study crazy things to help me loosen my mind, broaden my horizons and feel inspired. I hope this post does just that for you.

 

Related Post: Video // In Praise Of Chairs by Tony Zhou.

See More ‘Stories on Design’ Curated by Yellowtrace.

 

The Istanbul Project 1600 Chairs by Doris Salcedo | Yellowtrace

The Istanbul Project 1600 Chairs by Doris Salcedo | Yellowtrace
Photography by Muammer Yanmaz, © Doris Salcedo. Courtesy of the Alexander and Bonin, New York.

 

Installation by Doris Salcedo // “1600 Chairs Stacked Between Two City Buildings” is an installation by Doris Salcedo which took place at the Istanbul Biennial, 2003. Filling the space between two buildings with 1600 chairs, the installation evoked “the masses of faceless migrants who underpin our globalised economy.” Simple, yet incredibly powerful. 


 

Chair Installation at V&A by Nendo | Yellowtrace

Chair Installation at V&A by Nendo | Yellowtrace

Chair Installation at V&A by Nendo | Yellowtrace

Chair Installation at V&A by Nendo | Yellowtrace

Chair Installation at V&A by Nendo | Yellowtrace
Photography © Daici Ano.

 

Mimicry Chair Installation at London V&A Museum by Nendo // White metal chairs are stacked in a tower and clustered on staircases around the V&A museum as part of an installation by Japanese design studio Nendo for London Design Week. The Mimicry Chairs are made from pressed and punched metal finished in white – an intentionally simple design which stands out from the museum’s ornate interior. Each installation responds to its own space in the museum, with chairs joined together by variously sized backrests to reflect picture frames on the walls, or stacked up high near an outdoor staircase.

Related Post: Nendo Chair Garden | Milan 2010.


 

Ai Weiwei for German Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2013 | Yellowtrace.
Image courtesy of artobserved.com.

Ai Weiwei for German Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2013 | Yellowtrace.

Ai Weiwei for German Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2013 | Yellowtrace.
Photography by Roman Mensing, courtesy of the German Pavilion.

 

Ai Weiwei for German Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2013 // This installation consisted of 886 three-legged timber antique stools and explores the craft traditions of China, ideas of cultural value and history within the context of contemporary art. This expansive structure speaks of the increasing volumes of organisms in our world’s mega-cities, where the single stool can be interpreted as a metaphor for the individual.

Related Post: Highlights From The 55th Venice Biennale 2013.


 

2D/3D Chairs for Issey Miyake by Yoichi Yamamoto Architects | Yellowtrace

2D/3D Chairs for Issey Miyake by Yoichi Yamamoto Architects | Yellowtrace

2D/3D Chairs for Issey Miyake by Yoichi Yamamoto Architects | Yellowtrace
Images courtesy of Yoichi Yamamoto Architects.

 

Issey Miyake x Yoichi Yamamoto Architects // Issey Miyake’s Tokyo storefront worked in conjunction with Yoichi Yamamoto Architects to create a memorising installation based on 2D/3D chairs. Creating a three dimensional effect via perspective is further compounded by the actual inclusion of the back of chairs. Set in a vibrant blue, the chairs also make for the perfect hat rack for a collection of Akio Hirata-designed hats. Although the wooden backs of the blue chairs are fixed directly to the floor, the legs are painted onto the ground so that from a fixed angle they appear in the correct perspective.


 

Bonfire by Toko | Yellowtrace
Image by Rebecca Taylor.

 

Hill St Bonfire by Design By Toko // A visual protest against replica furniture, Luxmy Furniture, Arthur G, Workshopped and Euroluce commissioned creative agency Design By Toko to design a sculptural ‘Bonfire’ of furniture fakes. This installation was on display at Hill Street in Surry Hills as part of the recent Sydney Indesign. Do not fret – no real furniture were hurt in the process. Only the dirty, filthy, disgusting fakes. Hooray!


 

The Green Chairs Video Installation by Silvio Teixeira | Yellowtrace

The Green Chairs Video Installation by Silvio Teixeira | Yellowtrace

The Green Chairs Video Installation by Silvio Teixeira | Yellowtrace

 

The Green Chairs Video Installation by Silvio Teixeira // Portuguese designer Silvio Teixeira developed a preview of the 2012 Design Week in Vienna. As a video installation, the project became a teaser to demonstrate the city as a unique platform and showplace for design.


 

Black Hole Conference by Michel de Broin | Yellowtrace
Images courtesy of Michel de Broin.

 

Black Whole Conference by Michel de Broin // This installation consists of a group of chairs attached to each other at the legs to create a sphere. In this utopian architecture, each element ensures and shares in solidarity with the others, the stability of the whole. This spiky structure forms a kind of immune system, a geometry configured in order to protect itself from the outside world.


 

Chiharu Shiota | Yellowtrace

Chiharu Shiota | Yellowtrace
Image courtesy of Chiharu Shiota.

 

‘In Silence’ by Chiharu Shiota // Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota presented “In Silence”, a site-specific installation for Art Basel 2013, featuring an abandoned/ burnt down piano concert that has been wrapped a thick layer of black thread.

Related Post: So Hot Right Now // String & Thread Installations.


 

Chairs for Abu Dhabi 2012 by Tadashi Kawamata | Yellowtrace

Chairs for Abu Dhabi 2012 by Tadashi Kawamata | Yellowtrace

Chairs for Abu Dhabi 2012 by Tadashi Kawamata | Yellowtrace

Chairs for Abu Dhabi 2012 by Tadashi Kawamata | Yellowtrace
Photography by Daniel Suarez © Tadashi Kawamata.

 

Chairs for Abu Dhabi 2012 by Tadashi Kawamat // As part of Abu Dhabi’s fourth annual art fair, Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata created a round tower made of thousands stacked chairs. Called “Chairs For Abu Dhabi”, the approximately 15m tall sculpture took Kawamata about five days to build.


 

Train in Vain by Jim Lambie | Yellowtrace

Train in Vain by Jim Lambie | Yellowtrace
Images © Jim Lambie & Hara Museum of Contemporary Art.

 

Train in Vain by Jim Lambie // “Unknown Pleasures” exhibited a series of works that Jim Lambie and his team of assistants installed at the Hara Museum in December in 2008. The show included several of the Scottish artist’s trademarks – a vibrantly coloured sculpture made of deconstructed chairs and mirrored handbags, ‘Train in Vain; a series of black-and-white posters of pop-culture idols overlaid with fragments of floral oil paintings, ‘Found Flower Paintings’; multi-knobbed doors leading nowhere, ‘Maybelline,’ ‘Plastic Ono,’ and ‘Kinda Blue’.


 

Installation in Bogota Columbia 280 Timber Chairs & Rope by Doris Salcedo | Yellowtrace

Installation in Bogota Columbia 280 Timber Chairs & Rope by Doris Salcedo | Yellowtrace
Images courtesy of Doris Salcedo.

 

280 Timber Chairs & Rope Installation in Bogota Columbia by Doris Salcedo // 280 wooden chairs were lowered from the roof of the Palace of Justice in Bogotá on the 17th anniversary of the siege of the Palace by M-19 guerrillas and the government’s counterattack in 1985.


 

Pablo Reinoso Spaghetti Bench | Yellowtrace
Spaghetti Bench.

Pablo Reinoso Studio. Photo by Carlos Yebra | Yellowtrace

Pablo Reinoso Studio. Photo by Carlos Yebra | Yellowtrace
Thonet chair sculptures. Photography © Carlos Yebra.

 

Surreal Sculptures by Pablo Reinoso // Pablo Reinoso is a French-Argentinean artist and designer, born in Buenos Aires in 1955, now living and working in Paris. Originally a sculptor but essentially an artist, Pablo Reinoso has practiced art in different ways since an early age. Pablo Reinoso was introduced to carpentry by his grandfather, and began crafting furniture at the age of six. He created his first sculpture at thirteen and his first bench-sculpture at fifteen. Referencing organic and manufactured forms, Reinoso’s sculptures evoke disparate entities such as spaghetti, tree branches, and human hair, and, with their functional purpose, probe at the relationship between art and design.


 

A Wall of 300 Chairs by Fumiko Kobayashi | Yellowtrace

A Wall of 300 Chairs by Fumiko Kobayashi | Yellowtrace
Photography by Atsuo Ogawa.

 

A Wall of 300 Chairs by Fumiko Kobayashi // Artist Fumiko Kobayashi used about 300 chairs to create “1000 Legs, Cultivating Fruits,” a huge wall built entirely out of chairs and old clothing. One side of the wall composed of used clothes, creating a relatively flat surface while the opposite side was made from chairs. The wall, which was on display at the Mori Art Museum as part of a show called Roppongi Crossing, evoked Japan’s post-tsunami devastation.

“The clothes and chairs for the piece were all collected from the neighbourhoods surrounding the museum and the artist’s home. When stacked together, it transforms into a force to be reckoned with.”


 

Aesop Midtown Installation by Hiroko Shiratori | Yellowtrace

Aesop Midtown Installation by Hiroko Shiratori | Yellowtrace

Aesop Midtown Installation by Hiroko Shiratori // Wooden chairs were piled on top of one another to create the shelves of this pop-up shop for skincare brand Aesop in a Tokyo shopping centre. Designed by Aesop creative manager Hiroko Shiratori, the Aesop Midtown Installation created a temporary store for the brand earlier this summer in front of a pair of elevators in the Tokyo Midtown Galleria. Half of the chairs were turned upside down to create the stacks, which formed the display areas for rows of Aesop’s signature brown bottles.


 

Right Of Return by Marc Andre Robinson | Yellowtrace
Image courtesy of the artist.

 

‘Right Of Return’ by Marc Andre Robinson // Brooklyn-based artist Marc Andre Robinson uses discarded furniture to create his eye-catching sculptural installations. The artist’s piece titled ‘Right of Return’ salvages over a dozen chairs and exhibits their assemblage as an infinite loop presented at a slant. Each chair in Robinson’s piece is an integral part of the installation.

Individually, the chairs retain their own original colour and design, but are affixed to one another to create a whole new entity. There is also a sense of musicality to the installation, as though each wooden seat is its own beat in a composition. It even playfully echoes the circular motion of a game of musical chairs, though Robinson’s version is a surreal one in midair.


 

State of Transience by Sander Wassink | Yellowtrace

State of Transience by Sander Wassink | Yellowtrace

State of Transience by Sander Wassink | Yellowtrace
Photography by Ronald Smits © Sander Wassink.

 

State of Transience by Sander Wassink // State of Transience, is a responsive design process, which is continuously shifting over time. Using the relatively simple design archetype of a chair, Sander Wassink repurposes materials, making additions, subtractions and mutations, to suggest the impossibility of a final or fixed form. Each new version of this chair, documented in incremental stages, shows evidence of it’s future potential.


 

X Times People Chair by Angie Hiesl | Yellowtrace

X Times People Chair by Angie Hiesl | Yellowtrace

X Times People Chair by Angie Hiesl | Yellowtrace

X Times People Chair by Angie Hiesl | Yellowtrace
Photography by Roland Kaiser.

 

X Times People Chair by Angie Hiesl // German artist, director and choreographer Angie Hiesl has been presenting her performance art piece X Times People Chair in various cities and festivals throughout Europe and South America since 1995. Senior citizens (both from the original ensemble and locals) are perched on white chairs bolted to the façades of buildings, 15m or so up from the ground.

They perform uneventful tasks such as reading the paper, knitting, and folding laundry, unfazed by the surprised passers-by staring up at them. Most recently, X Times People Chair was performed in Montreal as part of the Festival Transmeriques, where two fire trucks showed up at one of the fixed chair locations not aware of the performance and thinking the actor a little nuts. How fun!


 

Seating Installation by Soojin Kang | Yellowtrace

Seating Installation by Soojin Kang | Yellowtrace
Images courtesy of Soojin Kang.

 

Seating Installation by Soojin Kang // Craft traditions convey a considered thought process and have always recognised the value in reusing and repurposing. Using tools normally alien to weaving, ‘Seating’ challenges traditional textile techniques. Repurposing the chairs as a framework for the warp provides a new weave; creating unique patterns and form. Soojin Kang believes the discoveries revealed throughout the making process are equally as important as the final construction.


 

Prince of Wales Arch, High Wycombe England 1880 made of hundreds of chairs for Queen Victoria's visit | Yellowtrace

 

Prince of Wales Arch, High Wycombe England // Many towns in Victorian Britain constructed arches to mark special occasions, often made of objects which symbolised the town, like High Wycombe’s chairs. The first known chair arch was put up in 1877 to mark a visit Queen Victoria paid to Disraeli at Hughenden Manor. This arch attracted great admiration from Her Majesty as she returned from Hughenden and had the coach stopped to enable her to carefully examine it.


 

Issey Miyake x Yoichi Yamamoto Architects | Yellowtrace

Issey Miyake x Yoichi Yamamoto Architects | Yellowtrace

Issey Miyake x Yoichi Yamamoto Architects | Yellowtrace

Issey Miyake x Yoichi Yamamoto Architects | Yellowtrace
Photography by Yoichi Yamamoto.

 

Installation at Issey Miyake boutique in Tokyo by Yoichi Yamamoto // Japanese architect Yoichi Yamamoto has suspended colourful strips of timber from the ceiling of an Issey Miyake boutique in Tokyo, which from certain angles look like five solid chairs. Yoichi Yamamoto designed the installation for the window of Issey Miyake’s Ginza boutique Elttob Tep.


 

2D/3D Chairs for Issey Miyake by Yoichi Yamamoto Architects | Yellowtrace

2D/3D Chairs for Issey Miyake by Yoichi Yamamoto Architects | Yellowtrace
Photography © E/B Office.

 

400 Chair ‘SEAT’ Art Installation In Atlanta // SEAT” is an installation in Atlanta’s Freedom Park produced by E/B Office (Ju Lee and Brian Brush). The piece involves 400 chairs assembled in a sine wave formation “drawn into an agitated vortex rising from the ground.”


 

Artist Mark Reigelman Creates Massive Chair Outside A Building in Mexico | Yellowtrace

Artist Mark Reigelman Creates Massive Chair Outside A Building in Mexico | Yellowtrace

Mark Reigelman’s Massive Chair Outside a Building in Mexico // Mark Reigelman II was commissioned to develop a site specific work as part of the DECODE design festival program in Monterrey. Intrigued by the positioning of large steel artifacts found juxtaposed against the lakes, trees and rivers of the public park, Reigelman wanted to create a monumental sculpture that captured this contrast of industry and natural beauty. His concluding vision is ‘Nidosilla’, a mammoth-sized ‘nest chair’ which stands to represent two identities — one for DECODE, and another for the school in front of which the statue is situated.


 

Abandoned Installation Art by Herbert Baglione | Yellowtrace

Abandoned Installation Art by Herbert Baglione | Yellowtrace
Images courtesy of Herbert Baglione.

 

Abandoned Installation Art by Herbert Baglione // 1000 Shadows’ installation series began in spooky, subterranean chambers and expanded to a collection of locations across Europe – including the Celles-sur-Belle in France, where Baglione occupied a 16th century church and an abandoned psychiatric hospital. Given their delicate arrangements, the works are temporary and fragile, designed to live on in the images the artists creates even after they have been disrupted. Creepy or creative? You be the judge.

Read the full article about this project & see more images here.


 

Extreme Knitting by Danish Textile Designer Isabel Berglund | Yellowtrace.
Images courtesy of Isabel Berglund.

 

Extreme Knitting by Danish Textile Designer Isabel Berglund // This fascinating artist & textile designer trained at The Danish Design School and Central Saint Martins College in London. Isabel’s work is rich in fictitious narratives, her sculptures and installations create space within space that toy with the viewers perception of reality, scale, contrasts of textures. I mean, I seriously never thought knitting could be so playful, inspiring and super badass. Respect.

Read the full article about this project & see more images here.


 

'Visibility Imposed Modernity' Kosovo's Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

'Visibility Imposed Modernity' Kosovo's Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace
Photography © Nico Saieh.

 

Visibility Imposed Modernity’ Kosovo’s Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 // For the Republic of Kosovo the forms of modernity were the symbols of the authoritarianism of the regime, and have never been assimilated by the society. The installation shkëmbi tower, made by stacking 720 “shkëmbi”, a traditional stool which name also means rock, emphasises the recovering of memory as a necessary step toward Kosovo’s advancement.

Related Post: Highlights From Venice Architecture Biennale 2014. 


 

Max Lamb ExerciseMax Lamb Exercise in Seating at 5Vie Milan Design Week 2015 | Yellowtrace in Seating at 5Vie Milan Design Week | Yellowtrace

Max Lamb Exercise in Seating at 5Vie Milan Design Week 2015 | Yellowtrace

Max Lamb Exercise in Seating at 5Vie Milan Design Week 2015 | Yellowtrace
Photography by Nick Hughes.

 

Max Lamb Exercise in Seating at 5Vie Milan Design Week 2015 // Max Lamb‘s “Exercise In Seating” took place at Garage Sanremo during Milan Design Week 2015. This material explorations of 40 chairs, or chair-like objects, was displayed in a circle in a chronological order, with chairs constructed over ten years by the hot-right-now British designer. The first chair was created while Max was a student until today, displaying a huge variety in materials, processes and one-offs.

Read the full article about this project & see more images here.


 

Installations of Fermob Furniture at the Oakland Museum of California by Jensen Architects | Yellowtrace

Installations of Fermob Furniture at the Oakland Museum of California by Jensen Architects | Yellowtrace
Photography © César Rubio.

 

Installations of Fermob Furniture at the Oakland Museum of California by Jensen Architects // Formerly a barren entry court, the outdoor area of Oakland Museum of California was designed to host exhibitions and events, and thanks to Jensen Architects’ Shaker-inspired kit of parts, it can easily be reconfigured to host any number or type of guests. Chairs and folding tables from Fermob hang from the wall (which was covered in blackboard paint), ready to be plucked from their perch and put into use by staff or visitors. The black-and-white palette was chosen for its graphic statement as well as its ability to serve as a canvas for an ever-changing human installation. “We felt we didn’t need to provide the colour,” says Jensen. “The color and life would come from the people who use it.”

 


[Photography credits as noted.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
Google+

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Nick Hughes, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Interior Design, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places.

2 Responses

  1. karen mitton

    Take a look at Martino Gamper – 101 Chairs – thought this would be included.

    Reply
  2. Eidos Evo

    Are these pictures real!? Unbelievable stuffs. I honestly never though of a chair as much more than an inanimate object I sit on! Keep up the good work Dana! Provide us more non-thoughtful articles :)

    Reply

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