|Prophets & Penitents|
April 22 — 27, 2009
Oratorio Della Passione, Milano
An Initiative of DAMn° magazine & Galleria Blanchaert, Elena Agudio & Alexandra Waldburg-Wolfegg
Konstantin Grcic, François Azambourg, Maarten Baas, Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, Stéphane Barbier Bouvet, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Bram Boo, Julien De Smedt, Ineke Hans, Jörg Hundertpfund, Dejana Kabiljo, Richard Hutten, Pierre Kracht, Kwangho Lee, Arik Levy, Piero Lissoni, Xavier Lust, Studio Makkink & Bey, Peter Marigold, Jason Miller, Bruno Munari, Heath Nash, Judith Seng, osko+deichmann, Jerszy Seymour Design Workshop, Ilkka Suppanen, Patricia Urquiola, Alex Valder, Marcel Wanders, Sylvain Willenz, Michael Young, 5.5 designers, Martí Guixé
A narrative on an almost sacral theme, for the designer the creation of a chair is like that of a string quartet to the composer: a unique reading of its creator's cerebral signature, revealing the modus operandi against the zeitgeist.
To celebrate the existence of this daily-life four-legged comfort-bringer, some 30 designers were invited to the Oratorio della Passione at Sant'Ambrogio – Milan's oldest church – to express their personal confessions on chair prototyping.
The exhibition reveals the invisible detours on the road to realisation. Those imperfect-perfect moments, where against all the clichés of digital 3D moulding, prototyping still continues to be regularly performed, in this instance, by the canonical elite and the choristers.
That the word 'prototype' is an elastic concept, we experienced upon receiving the first entries. Some chairs are a prototype in the true sense of the word: first experiments in the preliminary design process leading to mass-production. Oth- ers are rather one-off sculptures – intended or not – (nearly) finished pieces fat- ed to stay a first prototype forever. But there's a place for everyone in the church: having different genders, we decided to give them different wings in the chapel.
A few chair designs transcend the level of true prophecy, others cry out for mercy and penitence, but true to the embrace of our design faith we administer them all with absolution – albeit just for the passion of the ur-chair.