DESIGNERS IN SOLITUDE
The world is full of chairs; many of them make up the history of design. Some exist for comfort, some for transportation, some are life changing, some only exist for aesthetic reasons, and some become new icons simply because of the people who designed them. In whatever form, no one is isolated from the importance this object has in our lives and also in the lives of many of today’s generation of designers. It is for this reason that designing a chair today is not an easy task. Internationally renowned Italian designer Vico Magistretti (1920-2006) said about Italy that “in no other country there is a such an intense and fruitful interaction between manufactures and designers” and we here at Fabrica had the pleasure to put this quote to the test. We were invited by the Italian Chair District for a weeklong research workshop where we were shown many of the incredible skills belonging to the Italian Chair District, as well having an insight into the history and culture of the area. We chose to explore the theme of ‘ways of sitting’ to begin to question the notion of what a chair is, its typologies, and its limits. The brief was to design 12 concept chairs: from this starting point we developed our ideas, dealing with the functionality, styling, the ergonomics; it was a continuous discussion with the producer to find the right way to design the object. This process helped both the designer and the manufacture to discover new ways of seeing, and new avenues for the future. Vico Magistretti also said that being a designer is not a profession that can be done alon. It is a dialogue between the designer and the manufacture, neither party can exist in solitude. For us the workshop really began to uncover the truth of this statement. The Italian Chair district will be presenting the 12 Chairs by Fabrica at MOST from Tuesday 17 – Sunday 22 April 2012. MOST is a new and important destination instigated by Tom Dixon which will turn the National Museum of Science and Technology of Milan into an ambitious environment for innovation and culture.