#9 Have you heard of Textile Museum of Canada's reDesign?

Although I've heard about the Textile Museum of Canada (TMC) for years, I haven't had a chance to visit all these years. An opportunity arrived when Camal Pirbhai was contacted by Sarah Quinton, the curator director of the museum, who invited him to participate in this year's reDesign at the TMC. The project involves numerous designers in the city in which they are required to interpret the chair selected for the year in however way they want. Every year, there is a different prototype. Click here to take a look at last year's interpretations. 

Ruth Scheuing, The White Pieces, 2010, TMC

When we arrived at the museum, Sarah greeted us and gave us a brief tour around the museum. Just like any other museums, the TMC had its collections as well as special exhibitions. I only had a chance to briefly see the museum, so I will have to go back to see it again. At the end of the tour, Sarah gave Camal this year's chair that needs to be reDesgined. I could see that Camal was already brainstorming as soon as he picked up the chair. After having a conversation with Camal about the chair reDesign, we checked online to see how other artists portrayed their chair for last year's event. We found out ideas similar to Camal's have been already used. Camal wanted to take the chair and deform and destroy it, so that it no longer resembles its original form; hence losing its function. For instance, Castor took the chair and transformed into paper, whereas Peter Fleming burnt the chair and left a photograph of it with a frame made of the remaining four legs of the chair.

Castor, Chair Paper, Shredded Chair, 2011

Looking at this minimal approach in design makes me wonder about what art is, especially in the contemporary society we're living in. How abstract can it go? It feels like we have reached the limits in terms of pushing the envelope. For instance, although the materials of the chairs remain in some way, the form is completely deteriorated. However, because the form is destroyed, the function is also vanished. Other than the fact that the designer put a word "CHAIR" on the surface, there is no way for one to find out what it is. In fact, there is no way for an audience to check if it really is shredded chair or not.

Peter Fleming, Chair Requiem One, Chair Requiem Two, Chair Requiem Three, 2011

If you're interested in finding out about reDesign 2012, or interested in Camal's interpretation of this year's chair, keep following my blog and you will have all the information you need to know about it!

1 comment:

  1. It's cool that the designers thought of extreme ways to re-design the chair. Who would have thought of burning/shredding it?