#25 Eames Chair reDesigned

As you are aware, Camal Pirbhai redesigned an Eames-style chair for the Textile Museum of Canada (TMC). After five days of preview at Bonhams, the evening gala took place at Hazelton Lanes in Yorkville last Wednesday.

TMC reDesign gala, before the show started, 2012

I went a few hours before the gala to see if everything was going well. People from TMC were already there, busy setting up and arranging where each chair should go. They have been working since morning to make sure that everything was in its place for the special evening. After checking that Virtual Textilology was working well, I helped Karie Liao, curator resident and Monika Sormova, development coordinator at TMC with finishing touches for the event.

It was a good mingle of Torontonian artists, designers and architects. A few chairs were live auctioned during the gala, whereas the rest were silent auctioned. At the end of the night, all 40 chairs were all auctioned off.

Examples of non-functional chairs

Some chairs kept their function, whereas Camal and some designers decided to change its purpose. Some of these non-functional chairs were by designers such as Thrush Holmes, Adam Herst, Dennis Lin and Fugitive Glue (see photo above).

Hariri Pontarini Architects

And of course, there were chairs redesigned fulfilling its purpose. For instance, Hariri Pontarini Architects have recreated a chair made out of resin that has been painted to mimic natural wood. Johnson Chou separated the seat from the legs and turned the chair into a two-piece furniture; a chair and a table. These chairs were well-made and looked aesthetically pleasing, and had a practicality factor in them.

Camal Pirbhai, Virtual Textilology

Virtual Textilology looked great! The audience were at first fascinated by the use of the old console TV, also by the whimsical playfulness of the way Camal used his Eames-style chair. I met a professor I know and we were talking about some of these museum fundraiser events in Toronto. In the end, we agreed that such events need more innovation. As I have mentioned in my previous blog entry a while ago, I think designers and artists who are invited for fundraiser gala such as TMC's reDesign should challenge oneself to think more outside the box. To try something totally different, go beyond your design boundaries. Just like Virtual Textilology, it made defeat the purpose of the chair. So what? This isn't a furniture store. It's a place where creative minds gather to celebrate their designs for a good cause. So why not try something different and 'wow' the audience?