Join 3,430 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Reams of Eames
December 1, 2011 11:47 AM   Subscribe

Tired of designing yet another fancy-ass chair? Join the No Chair Design Challenge for 2012 [warning: no website design], with a handy video tutorial on how not to design chairs. [via]

"We believe that the world already has enough chairs. Designing new ones only takes time away from renovating the ones we already have. Consider this the ultimate challenge for you to rethink how sustainable design should be manifested. If not that... Then think about the amount of time you'll save when you don't have to design chairs for a year."
posted by benzenedream (47 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Tired of designing yet another fancy-ass chair?

Any sufficiently fancy ass will require a fancy-ass chair. It's just the way it is.
posted by The Bellman at 11:53 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have literally never understood anything less than I understand this post. I'm kind of afraid to click the links, lest I break this perfect lack of understanding.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:56 AM on December 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


Or not doing this?
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:57 AM on December 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


The way I avoid designing chairs is I just don't have any interest in designing chairs.
posted by Mcable at 11:58 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


At last a challenge that I'm fully prepared to meet. In fact, I'll go them one better: I vow not to design a chair for the next decade.
posted by yoink at 12:00 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I will cheerfully refrain from designing chairs in the coming year.

Done and done.
posted by everichon at 12:00 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thumbs up for the use of "prossibly."
posted by nushustu at 12:00 PM on December 1, 2011


Nothing wrong with fancy-ass chairs. The problem is there are too many dumb-ass chairs.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:02 PM on December 1, 2011


I wasn't even thinking of designing a chair. But now...[fetches T-square and pencil]
posted by etc. at 12:03 PM on December 1, 2011


Depressing: having "make dining room chairs" on my "to do" list for 2012, and realizing that they're right.

Even more depressing: Still thinking all extant chair designs suck.
posted by straw at 12:05 PM on December 1, 2011


Or not doing this?
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:57 AM on December 1 [1 favorite +] [!]

Or this?
posted by kcds at 12:06 PM on December 1, 2011


This is a nice idea, but it won't work. They'll just spend the time designing more fancy-ass teapots.
posted by Kabanos at 12:12 PM on December 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I like living in a world with "too many" chair or teapot designs.
posted by callmejay at 12:15 PM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I take a pretty darn expansive view of design, I'm pretty sure the author of that website didn't "design" anything at all in 2011 if that website is any indication. Just their banner alone makes me want to puke.
posted by zachlipton at 12:17 PM on December 1, 2011


that should have been "I take a pretty darn expansive view of design, but I'm pretty sure...
posted by zachlipton at 12:17 PM on December 1, 2011


I'm a UI designer, I design tables.
posted by Ratio at 12:24 PM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Looking at that Cribcandy link...

So many chairs; so little ass.
posted by notyou at 12:28 PM on December 1, 2011


What would a chair look like if your knees bent the other way? - S. Wright
posted by kuujjuarapik at 12:29 PM on December 1, 2011


A stool.
posted by notyou at 12:30 PM on December 1, 2011


I'm ambivalent about fancy ass chairs, but isn't "ass chair" kind of redundant?
posted by Edgewise at 12:38 PM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


The reason that no one should design any more chairs is because the greatest chair of all time has already been designed.
posted by argonauta at 12:43 PM on December 1, 2011


My fancy ass does not approve.
posted by Theta States at 12:46 PM on December 1, 2011


Designing fancy ass chairs is a gateway drug to designing fancy ass and totally crap houses.
posted by greenhornet at 12:58 PM on December 1, 2011


A couple years ago I took a chainsaw to a tall stump rising out of the grass near a narrow winding river. I made careful vertical and horizontal cuts to create a comfortable seating surface and tested it several times between adjustments before I was satisfied with the result.

[heavy sigh]

I was weak.

[glances around furtively]

I compounded the obscenity by cutting a smaller stump close by into an identical shape, such that a child could sit face-to-face with a companion, or it could serve as a footrest for the adult in the first chair.

[sobs]

I hate the man I was back then. Nothing I say now can absolve me for those crimes.
posted by CynicalKnight at 1:00 PM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Why isn't this chair called The Crippled Centaur? Life just isn't fair sometimes.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 1:00 PM on December 1, 2011


I wonder what I'm not going to sit in in 2012
posted by pwally at 1:03 PM on December 1, 2011


What would a chair look like if your knees bent the other way?

Like the visitor's chair beside the hospital bed?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:04 PM on December 1, 2011


Sitting all day is supposed to be unhealthy anyhow. Could designers get to work on a piece of furniture that will keep me comfortably standing/leaning upright at my desk? Something like a cot at a near-vertical angle perhaps? Does such a thing already exist? I'd need a redesigned desk to go with it, of course.

I'd almost certainly hate it, but it's be different.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:07 PM on December 1, 2011


I have watched that video tutorial twice and, while it's adorable, I still can't tell if they intentionally garbled the hosts' names or if that's just how Finnish sounds.
posted by psoas at 1:30 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Won't somebody please think of the asses.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:32 PM on December 1, 2011


Fancy-ass chair? Fancy ass-chair.
posted by cmoj at 1:33 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I frickin' love the fancy-ass chairs. Someday, I want a whole house full of fancy-ass chairs.
posted by Weeping_angel at 1:58 PM on December 1, 2011


I have been not designing chairs since 1972. I'm an EXPERT.
posted by The otter lady at 2:03 PM on December 1, 2011


I just want a thin exoskeleton that makes it comfortable to remain in just about any position for a long time. It should be like an active skin that automatically distributes my weight as evenly as possible for the position I have chosen. Then any chair would be good.

Design that, non-chair designers.
posted by pracowity at 2:09 PM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Great! Maybe they can get to work on designing some not-shitty floor and desk lamps. Also: ceiling lamps are easy and sconces are for posers.
posted by beerbajay at 2:17 PM on December 1, 2011


I used to love chair design, then spent 5 years in design school getting a design degree.

Every single year half the professors would have us design or build a chair or chair related object. The other half would have us analyze, critique or deconstruct a chair. The remaining half (designers suck at math) would use a chair as a metaphor, example or symbol of what design [is | is not].

One of the most in your face status symbols at school was having as many as possible of the Vitra miniature chairs on your desk. Like a Marc Newson designed Lockheed Lounge miniature, a 5 ¾ x 4 x 10 ¾” model of a lounge chair that sells for $1,500.

Half the graduation projects were chairs.

Chair designers and models were our Shibboleth. The poor guy who confused Saarinen's Womb Chair and Ottoman for Eame's Lounge Chair and Ottoman was tarred, feathered and cut to shreds with rusty exacto blades. COME ON! Like Eames would make a RED chair!

I once touched Ron Arad's Pappardelle in a museum in London and I did not wash my finger for 4 months.

Now I hate the whole chair design culture in design schools. Spending all your time, money and sanity designing chairs is the equivalent of high school athletes damaging their brain for an infinitesimal chance of ever making it to the NFL.

I support this movement.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 2:26 PM on December 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'd be cool with them continuing to design new teapots, especially if it would get us closer to getting a teapot that actually pours without spilling or dripping. But I think that's more of an engineering problem than a design one.
posted by NoraReed at 2:32 PM on December 1, 2011


Seriously, why are designers so obsessed with chairs? Every design magazine is full of 'em.
posted by scose at 2:53 PM on December 1, 2011


COME ON! Like Eames would make a RED chair! You're right. They'd never have made just one.
posted by xod at 2:53 PM on December 1, 2011


I see that xod knows how to pronounce Shibboleth the way Ludwig Mies van der Rohe intended.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 3:14 PM on December 1, 2011


Silently.
posted by xod at 3:37 PM on December 1, 2011


I had the coolest idea for a chair. A String Chair. Like those string art pictures that are on black velvet with pins down two or more axis and the string looped around creating another arc? Wouldn't that in 3D make the greatest chair, it'd be comfortable (if you got the arcs right) and just totally space age looking!
posted by sammyo at 7:03 PM on December 1, 2011


And all this time, I thought I had been not designing chairs correctly...
posted by bxyldy at 7:06 PM on December 1, 2011


What about this chair?
posted by dirigibleman at 8:34 PM on December 1, 2011


Vanity Fair was right! The Eames brothers truly do know how to rock my ass off!!!
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 8:57 PM on December 1, 2011


NoraReed:
I'd be cool with them continuing to design new teapots, especially if it would get us closer to getting a teapot that actually pours without spilling or dripping. But I think that's more of an engineering problem than a design one.
What you need is a superhydrophobic coating on your teapot. (PDF)
posted by joshwa at 9:11 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously, why are designers so obsessed with chairs? Every design magazine is full of 'em.

A chair is relatively small, simple, and cheap, so any real or would-be designer with a little time and money to spare can design and build one as part of the endless competition to be the world's smartest and coolest designer ever.

And everyone has seen and used a million chairs, so we all think we know a good chair from a bad chair and we are ready to judge and pontificate with some feeling of authority when someone proposes a new design. (Like a relationship question in ask mefi -- we all think we're experts because we've all had relationships.)

And a cool chair, unlike a cool house, is a relatively easy acquisition for people with a little money who want to show friends how exclusively cool and brilliant they are.
posted by pracowity at 2:39 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


« Older "Once more we're starting to look forward to Chris...  |  Here is Coffee: The Greatest A... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments