Created during Covid-19 lockdowns, 19 unique chairs are being auctioned off in aid of Age UK and Resourcing Racial Justice
In the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, two brothers from south London decided to start a project that could connect and activate creatives in order to support charitable causes. The brothers, Tom and Will Butterfield, constructed 19 simple wooden chairs over the course of 19 days in isolation, and subsequently shipped these to 19 various designers and artists worldwide to reinterpret and repurpose with their own aesthetic.
Now, the unique chairs are being auctioned off online in support of Age UK and Resourcing Racial Justice, and a public exhibition will take place at Protein Studios in London’s Shoreditch 20–23 May.
The 19 designers who participated in the project include Tom Dixon, Es Devlin, Morag Myerscough, Sabine Marcelis and Brandon Carlton. The creatives – spanning the fields of art, furniture design, fashion, set design and more – were asked to redesign the simple chairs with an older person in mind.
This was a nod to the work of Age UK as well as the understanding that older people were being hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and its isolating effects. The project also highlights the value and collaboration of the creative industry, particularly in times of crisis.
Myerscough’s chair – in bright neon colours as per the designer’s signature aesthetic – includes the addition of a generous circular back as well as woven ripstop fabric. The chair by Dixon, described as ‘a seat for Buzz Aldrin’, is wrapped in aluminium and tin foil. Devlin turned her chair into a revolving lamp, Carlton spray-painted his gold and Marcelis wrapped hers in yellow rubber. Other chairs harness yarn, waste plastic, rolled-up newspapers – and even Werther’s Originals.
For more information on the auction and exhibition, head to 19chairs.co.uk