Many furniture designers should ask themselves, “what is the purpose of designing a chair, today?” Zero, no purpose. It serves to continue a production cycle resulting from a capitalist economy. As Munari said, “there are more chairs than asses”.
However, the designer Matteo Guarnaccia went further – as a good designer should do – and transformed the production of a chair into a social, cultural and industrial research: he travelled in Japan, China, Indonesia, India, Russia, Nigeria, Brazil and Mexico, to produce in each country a chair with the materials, the culture and the techniques of the local community.
The project is called CCC, CrossCulturalChairs, and it’s a research about the cultural context of chairs around the world. An exploration that lies between social and technical aspects of this piece of furniture.
Matteo has combined his travel passion with his product design background to give life to CCC, a project born with the aim of interpreting the culture and furniture used during convivial and aggregation moments in 8 different countries. Establishing a triangle between CCC, the artisans and a local design/architect studio, they collaboratively produced a chair in each country. The research began in November 2018 in Brazil, where Cross Cultural Chairs collaborated with Brunno Jahara and Dimitrih Correa, and continued in Mexico, in collaboration with Jose de la O and Los Patrones; in Japan with Mikiya Kobayashi and Takumi Koggei; in Indonesia with Abie Abdillah of Hiji Studio; and in China Benwu Studio and Kvadrat. It continued in India with SP + A, in Russia with Crosby Studios and in Nigeria with NM Bello.
CCC doesn’t end with the production phase: in collaboration with the graphic design firm Albert Romagosa, a 300-page book will be printed in 2020 with visual descriptions of different cultures and furniture. The project is also an open source online network with collaborative research on design and craftsmen. The entire project will be the starting point of a traveling exhibition.
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