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New Building!

April 22, 2014

chairs highline

Dear Chairs and Buildings Readers,

I am happy to announce that Chairs and Building is undergoing a redesign to be launched in June 2014.

The new format will introduce long-form articles based on intriguing ideas emerging from my studio work, teaching, and writing practice. I look forward to publishing this increasingly focused Chairs and Buildings content, along with other talented guest contributors, in order to delve deeper into important themes we have been exploring since 2007. Chairs and Building will continue to be a place for design ideas and “furniture thinking”; this new format will enable us to create an innovative dialogue with each topic that we discover.

Chairs and Buildings’ life over the past seven years has been amazing thanks to you– the support and insight of its readers and contributors. It has been a place of inspiration and discussion where I hope your work and ideas have grown as much as mine.

I would especially like to thank Chairs and Buildings authors Tami Wedekind and Benjamin Marcus who have helped to enliven the debate. They will continue to be a core component of Chairs and Buildings and in the meantime, follow them on Twitter @wedekindworks and @BenjaminRMarcus to see what they are up to.

To be alerted of our new redesigned issue in early June, please sign up for the Chairs and Building newsletter. And you can always follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

I hope that the new Chairs and Buildings will continue to be a hub for our strong and insightful community and will launch new ways of thinking and action in a design context. Thank you for your engagement and ideas, and stay tuned for June!


Annie Coggan

building darning

April 21, 2014


For a very unexpected reason I found myself spending the morning on the Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s  High Line and the afternoon in the Lincoln Center Julliard School. It occurred to me that what DS+R is very good at is stitching together and re-crafting existing urban space. The result is a series of circulation slivers, stairs as benches and benches as stairs and a photographic mural with all of Shakespeare’s works on a curtain. They are so bloody smart.

building images

April 20, 2014

milk jug

So yesterday while working on the post, I realized how interesting the web site for the Rijksmuseum is. Something called Rijksstudio acts as a museum “pinterest” and encourages making objects and projects from the collection. The lamp above is based on Vermeer’s Milkmaid.  I love the interaction between museum and virtual audience.

building objects

April 19, 2014


Saturday day dreaming has led me to the Droog/Rijksmuseum collaboration at Salone de Mobile del Milan this past week. Another interrogation of the Vermeesr and Durers available from the museum and a Droog appropriate material collision yielding rubber tablecloths and matte black glassware this looks like a highlight from the ever innovative week.

Building Display

April 17, 2014

tami 1

From Tami

While in London I discovered the American Artist Haim Steinbach exhibiting at the Serpentine Gallery. Let’s call it the architecture of Display of “collectible” objects. This is a really intriguing display of everyday personal objects – in public.  Mostly I enjoyed the wallpaper most often found in a private interior which was woven into this Public Display.  Through May 5 for my London friends. My photo.



textile building books

April 16, 2014


I am working on some new infrastructure for Chairs and Buildings and some new directions, so stay tuned. But in the mean time I keep posting things that have been interesting in the few weeks. The other day while waiting for an appointment I popped into the Pratt library and saw this book, Textile Visionaries by Bradley Quinn,  in the new book section. Full of  the cutting edge of how to think about new textiles, I highly recommend it. Major innovators like Maggie Orth and friends NunoErin are featured with their newest work.

Building Lent

April 10, 2014

Angela Wright

From Tami

While in London I stumbled upon the beautiful little Southwark Cathedral.  Inside I found a stunning art installation by Angela Wright.  250 miles of wool from 40 different countries draped from high on the altar.  Commissioned by the Cathedral as a temporary installation for Lent, it seemed mixing realities (modern art/sanctity of the medieval church) and yet right at home on the altar.  Entitled “Forty Days” – her statement reads in part…”Is it the tears that were shed, the cloth that wiped his brow, the sheet they wound around him…or something more?”


April 7, 2014


From Benjamin

I’m no fan of computer games, even the non-violent “Tetris”  types, as I find them socially isolating and boring. And I’ve always thought that architect César Pelli’s Cira Centre, built next to the historic Beaux Arts 30th Street Station in my home town of Philadelphia, to possess all the elegance of a very large, overturned, paper bag.
Well, on Saturday the graceless curtain wall of the latter was transformed temporarily into the playing screen for the former as Drexel University computer professor Frank Lee hacked into the LED lighting system of the building to play a  29 story-high version of the vintage arcade game, as part of Philly Tech Week,and in honor of the game’s 30 anniversary.  While the project of commandeering private property to play a childish game of blocks is surely a silly prank, the self-indulgent and criminal aspects are, in this case I think, counterbalanced by the excitement of a public happening, and the considerable, if transient, aesthetic improvements.

building elusion

April 1, 2014

coco mad comp

From Benjamin

“Where is She Now?” is the name, and the theme, of the new commercial for Chanel’s “Coco Mademoiselle” fragrance.Directed by Joe Wright, set to the evocatively titled Zombies song, She’s Not There, and starring Keira Knightley as a glamorous, white tulle-sheathed woman who teasingly disappears from a party of black-clad revellers just when her would be suitor, (Russian actor Danila Kozlovsky) nearly catches up with her, the ad seems to suggest that the joy of seduction is less about finding true love (or sex) and more about escaping them.
Either descending an impossibly precipitous staircase into an enormous, ambiguously shaped, room; hiding behind the veil of a textured glass screen; magically dissolving into thin air in a sprinkle of sparkles; or zipping under a bridge in a vintage speedboat, all without losing eye contact with her paramour, the temptress might be a fabulous & desirable phantom – the personification of a tantalizing and elusive scent. On the other hand, she might just be a cipher.  The imagery is beautiful, and the packaging, alluring. But at a cost of $7,681.60 for a 900 ml bottle, one hopes to be sure it’s not… empty.



building resurrection

March 29, 2014


I had this work in my “to think about” folder since it exploded on-line at the first of the year. A wiley artist Mr. Finch makes objects and worlds out of discarded textiles and potential taxidermy. These are not new ideas but the innocence of his process is interesting. He is literally stitching things up to be revitalized. This caring for a discarded element is new, anti-consumerist and a pure activity…on to the rest of the day.