The art of the chair

What better example of the marriage of art & function can there be than the commonplace chair?  We all want one.  We all need one.  This post explores the Art of the Chair.  

The Caldera Chair created by American independent designer and furniture maker Cameron Van Dyke.
The Caldera Chair created by American independent designer and furniture maker Cameron Van Dyke.

The Caldera Chair designed by Cameron Van Dyke.  A caldera, according to Encarta Dictionary, is “a large crater in a volcano, caused by a major eruption followed by the collapse of the volcanic pipe walls that form the volcano’s cone. It may later contain a lake.”   Van Dyke’s chair certainly lives up to its name.  But is it comfortable? 

The London Design Festival reflects the growing worldwide recognition of the power of design to change things for the better, to help deliver economic prosperity and to improve quality of life.  The 2008 festival addressed the widest possible range of design disciplines including furniture made from balloons. 

Niels Schuurmans' Balloon Furniture

Niels Schuurmans' Balloon Furniture

According to

Niels Schuurmans’ Balloon Furniture was one example of whimsy taken to the extreme. He took those long tubular balloons that clowns usually use for making balloon poodles and filled them with fiber reinforced polyester; which made them hard and solid. You can sit on them; they are not very comfy, but they would be colourful and witty outside on a balcony or deck.

Via  I learned of the Magritta chair, now being produced by the Italian design store, Owo. 25042_magritta_poltrone  

Recognize the reference to Belgian surrealist painter  140px-magritte_thesonofman1   René François-Ghislain Magritte and his painting, The Son of Man (1964)?  I wonder if the Magritta chair lives up to the standards of Magritte’s surrealism, whose artworks feature the elements of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and the non sequitur

Sketch Furniture by FRONT uses a unique method to design furniture.  Pen strokes made in the air are recorded with Motion Capture and become 3D digital files; these are then materialised through Rapid Prototyping into real pieces of furniture. 

sketch-furniture-by-front  process_small


I was interested to learn of the art of grown furniture and arborsculpture.   The concept of training and grafting trees to form useful objects is quite intriguing.  Via ArtNewsBlog





Decorative stuffed animal chairs from the Campana Studio are a fitting accompaniment to grown furniture.  Make sure to check out the website of Fernando and Humberto Campana.  It’s really quite amazing.  Via



And finally…

Gallery 202, Partners in Art, Inc. is an Ohio-based non-profit art organization that specializes in community art programs for all ages and encourages the interaction between Artists, Patrons and Businesses.  Go  here  to learn of their Chair Is Art exhibit.


Care to visit other posts in  The Art of…  series?   Try one of these:    

The art of doodling

The art of the environment

The art of culinary research

The art of the miniature book

The art of the summer read

The Art of Jell-O

The art of the barcode

The art of the plastic bag

The art of fooling around

The art of the box office

The Art of Webcomics

The art of the dictionary

The art of tape

The Art of ‘Tsutsumi’

Chill Seekers, or the art of ice

The art of camo, or Can you still see me?

The art of the egg

The Art of the Comeback, or “Post No-posting Guilt Trip”

The art of automobile design

The art of camo

The art of fruit and veggie

The art of the lawn




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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. suburbanlife
    Nov 05, 2008 @ 01:16:48

    The caldera chair looks like it would make a fine and unique sitz-bath, otherwise looks extremely uncomfortable.
    The plush stuffed-toy chairs are a good idea for reupholstering a comfy chair with the stuffed toys one’s child outgrows – could be kind of fun in a kitschy sort of way.
    Thanks for providing all the useful links for perusing. I love your ever inquisitive and inclusive blog! G


  2. leafless
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 02:08:09

    If only some of these are for sale…Love them.


  3. MadSilence
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 08:31:11

    Hello again G and thanks for your comment.

    Leafless, most if not all of these chairs are for sale. My favorite? The Magritta. The armchair is available from OWO for $2,183.50.

    Its dimensions:

    H: 23 inches
    L1: 36 inches
    L2: 33 inches


  4. sharoo
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 16:36:11

    Hi, i am sharoo sunidhi.I’ve always dreamed of doing what Aldo Leopold did. This American forester, wildlife manager and conservationist took a mid-western American farmstead, impoverished by drought and poverty, and struggled to resurrect the soil and native flora. His efforts are chronicled in the book A Sand County Almanac, a series of essays “for those [...]



    Social Bookmarking


  5. sugali
    Nov 09, 2008 @ 01:15:42

    Like the grafted tree chair. The animated one looks interesting.


  6. Trackback: Seeing changes everything « MadSilence
  7. Trackback: Small “!” moment « MadSilence

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