Designed Objects cover and feature pages design by Anna Mort at Thirst
Designed Objects editor Rick Valicenti at Thirst
On the cover
Cover image: Ben Stagl
Cover design: Anna Mort and Rick Valicenti
“UnFolding Chair” by ChiLab, 2013 (collaborative efforts of Ben Stagl, Bo Rodda, Jason Gillette, Kuan-Wen Chiu and Max Davis)
The 1941 Steel Folding Chair by Krueger Metal Products was designed with utility and economy in mind. Originally created with excess metal from steel companies, the lightweight design’s ability to fold and nest made it perfect for temporary or shifting and congregational assemblies as well as everyday use. Commonly sold for two dollars, this design has become one of the most under-featured ubiquitous chairs of the twentieth century.
By producing the image of this chair in solid bronze and removing its ability to fold and nest, the designers deconstruct the brilliance of its inception by trading the design’s functional value for a material one. Denying functionality, the object becomes the sculptural image of the chair, thereby establishing that image into history by undoing its incredible popularity.
DESIGNED OBJECTS 2019:
Rick Valicenti has led the Thirst design studio since its founding in 1989 and has established himself as one of the most visionary designers in the country, winning the 2011 National Design Award from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.