19 CHAIRS — 2020/21

19 CHAIRS, built in 19 DAYS, delivered to 19 LOCATIONS, reworked by 19 CREATIVES, in the COVID-19 lockdown.

Lockdown. We were two fidgety creatives (and brothers) with limited bog roll and limitless news. Anything stable, sturdy and decisively NOT ‘unprecedented’ became our inspiration. To us, nothing seemed more predictable, or humble, than the chair.

As an ode to this gloriously common furniture piece, stage 1 of the project saw us design and build a unique chair a day over 19 days of lockdown. With most businesses shut, we couldn’t be fussy with materials. 27 millimetre square-section timber and 40 millimetre wood screws would do the job. We learnt two things: the bare essentials are all you need to create a unified collection… and our 27 times table.

And with that, stage 2 began. The chairs were shipped worldwide to 19 celebrated creatives who had volunteered to become their custodians. We asked them to ‘reinvent, reimagine or redesign your chair with an older person in mind.’ The brief was a nod to the outstanding work of Age UK, connecting our collaborators with those experiencing the isolating effects of the pandemic most deeply. On their behalf, the designers cut loose, then packaged their creations ready for return.

The chairs were then reunited and ripped from their packaging at an exhibition in London. An online charity auction ran parallel to the exhibition, where each customised chair was sold with all proceeds donated to Age UK.