Designer brothers Tom and Will Butterfield turned wasted hours during lockdown into a design project, enlisting industry greats to reinvent seating for older people.
When brothers Tom and Will Butterfield, a product and graphic designer respectively, found themselves both at a loose end, living under the same roof at the start of the coronavirus lockdown, the idea was born for 19 Chairs in order to raise money for Age UK.
“We chose to support the heavily effected elderly generation and respective care-homes. Age UK is an amazing charity offering much-needed companionship and support to the elderly, through such challenging and lonely times,” the brothers told ICON.
Later on, in light of the focus on cultural issues highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement, they also decided to pledge half of any profits generated to Resourcing Racial Justice – a coalition of BIPOC innovators, change-makers, activists, artists and social leaders dedicated to social change.
Stage 1 of the challenge was for the Butterfields themselves to undertake, using 27mm share section timber and wood screws to design and build a different chair every day for 19 days throughout lockdown. The 19 designs, now completed, range from simple and functional to more ornate, decorative designs.
For stage 2 of the challenge, the brothers have enlisted the help of renowned artists and designers from across the creative industries to re-imagine one of their chairs with an older person in mind.
With a near complete roster of designers to reinvent the designs, the roll call includes the likes of furniture designer Tom Dixon, graphic artist Morag Myerscough and comedian Joe Lycett.
Once the project is complete, the duo plan to sell the chairs and donate all profits to their chosen organisations.
You can follow the process of the project on the 19 Chairs website and Instagram pages.