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Awkward Encounters: Touching Chairs

By 16-11-2019

One Week About DesignChewing Festival

For the Design ChewingFestival that is taking place from 15 to 17 November 2019 at Tent Rotterdam, students from the MA Interior Architecture of the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague designed a spatial installation under the guidance of Refunc.

The starting point of this installation were one hundred identical rented chairs. By playfully combining and reinterpreting this standard element, they have created both an installation as well as a programme about the similarity between chairs and humans. Based on the practice of Refunc, the goal was to create a temporary design that generates as little waste as possible. To achieve this, the students chose to work with rentable materials and reusable connections.

Their participation in the last Climate March inspired the students. So they all agreed: no more trash! They took the catalogue of a renting company and found a beautiful chair, and ordered one hundred pieces. They played around with them, stepped, slept and sat on them. Eventually it became clear that each of them is a unique individual. One awkward encounter at a time, the students got to know the chairs. Some liked to be touched, some responded to compliments, and yet others started to bloom when left alone in the corner. Only through interacting, each chair came into its own in a perfect match with a like-minded human.

During the festival, a variety of workshops and activities will take place. The students will participate in the Design ChewingFestival together with the chairs. By physically engaging with the chairs, the students encourage the audience to experience the same interactions as they themselves did during the design process.

A design festival focused on self-reflection, reflection and criticism
TENT, Witte de Withstraat 50 Rotterdam
15, 16, 17 November

Photos: Paul van der Blom