A brief history of chairs by architect and professor Witold Rybczynski covers the fascinating (really) history of chairs, the subject of his new book Now I Sit Me Down. He has also written about the lack of thoughtful design in airline seats and how architects have struggled to create the perfect chair (researching this article apparently inspired the book). Don't miss the photographs of the 7 chairs that changed the world.
Discogs user gatogato makes lists of record covers with elements in common. If you've ever wanted to see 716 covers that feature chairs, 254 showing the Eiffel Tower, 98 depicting flowers next to instruments, 645 with cats of all kinds, or 335 picturing people standing by the ocean, you've found your Mecca.
Chairs, they're everywhere these days. They seem simple enough, and they are indeed ancient in general existence. But it was the chest, the bench and the stool that were the ordinary seats used in everyday living, and the number of chairs which have survived from an earlier date is exceedingly limited. In China, chairs brought about a change in posture and display of hierarchy, and into the 17th century England, the chairs in a household reflected the social hierarchy for family and guests. Even into the 1970s, chairs served to mark hierarchy in the workplace, and it took an examination of workplace injuries, turn-overs and general productivity to re-evaluate how chairs were selected for office workers. [more inside]
...And so it was that from the turn of the twentieth century on, chairs had society in their clutches.
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] [more inside]
Benchmark Reviews review a very, very expensive chair in the most effusive terms. Something rings false in a cosy internet backwater. Further investigation suggests that large sections of the review are lifted from press releases. Shenanigans ensue. The response of Benchmark Reviews to being caught in the act? They permanently ban and then publish the real name and address of the journalist investigating.
The Real Good Chair Experiment - What happens if you leave 25 chairs around New York and watch to see where they go? The short film then continues with an interview with a few of the people who brought them home.
Modern Furniture Designs. Innovative and unique furniture has twists and turns, literal and conceptual ways of breaking from contemporary conventions and modern regularity. These creative furniture designs go beyond merely innovative, crossing boundaries of industrial, furniture and architectural design, using new methods and materials along the way.
Amazing Pooktre Sculptures. A gallery of living art. Previously. (with bonus extra Previouslies inside!)
Ever had a yen for a table made from jet engine turbine blades or a desk fashioned from a wing or a cowling? Giancarlo de Astis and Moto Art are two high-end design firms that are creating eye catching furniture and functional art from scavenged airplane parts. You can see their work and the work of others in the aviation art community at InterFlight Studio. Or do-it-yourself-ers in the crowd might just prefer a Field Guide to Aircraft Boneyards.
Bike furniture - now that's recycling!
The Tantra Chair (NSFW) seems like a great addition to any modern living room.
White plastic chairs - Jens Thiel blogs his research of the ubiquitous chair we all love to hate for an upcoming monobloc monograph and museum exhibition. The first chair emerged midcentury, devil spawn of a noble heritage. Today, some fear the monobloc population rivals or exceeds that of humans. Some view the chair as art, others see their place in history, but I agree with the wag who dubs them tupperware containers for lard butts.
Inhabitat - "source on the future of design". Great finds like Tetris shelves, the Slumber Light, a transformer apartment, and Favela Chairs. (via the saucydwellings LJ community)
Un-Fold. (quicktime clip) City Magazine asked 9 designers, from 9 cities across the world to design a chair in 90 days. Oh, and it had to fit in a FedEx box. Pics and more about the designers and the project.
What makes for a great champagne chair? Design Within Reach sponsored a holiday contest to design a chair constructed from the cork and wire cages of champagne bottle. Judges had a difficult time deciding from the 400 entries that poured in. (via Buzz.)
Pull up a folding chair and take a look at the folding chair's four thousand year history, thanks to the kind folks at designboom.
Stand up for sitting down! Management at Indigo/Chapters (a Canadian bookstore mega-chain equivalent to Borders) is drastically reducing the amount of comfortable seating in their stores chain-wide. This committed group of activists isn't taking the matter sitting down. Show your support!
An Ode to the Aeron -- Something good may come out of the dotcom collapse at last! As they all go belly up, having lavished lots of their venture capital on $2000 office chairs, will the rest of us finally be able to afford these marvels of office architecture, even if we do have to settle for them being used?