Some of our favorite finds from New York Design Week 2011 are by David Kim and Mike Seto, from the design collaborative ClickBoomPow. The duo created a line of colorful "New Role Models" chairs, which are designed to offer public seating with a pop of art. The chairs, made from 1/4 inch bent steel and laminated with vinyl prints of artwork, may not seem sustainable at first, but the ingenuous touch comes from the interaction between furniture, site, and user. These customized chairs are designed as part of a community empowering initiative to activate abandoned or overlooked public urban spaces by providing a purpose to these locales. The colorful furnishings, clad in works by local artists, should certainly bring a splash of irreverence and joy to any street!
The not-for-profit project is conceived as a clandestine event; chairs are scattered through different areas of the city without municipal or local permission, left in each environment for a few days, then collected and redistributed somewhere else. The seats are adorned with attention-grabbing custom designs from artists such as DALVA, Milton Glaser, and Fawad Khan, with varying themes such as abstracted superheroes, geometric patterns, and stylized building facades.
Each placement brings attention to an underused spot in a neighborhood and strives to instigate a sense of pride in each community. Kim and Seto hope that this small-scale intervention will help preserve the totality of New York’s urban environment, and that other designers and residents take it upon themselves to sustain their place in the city and become New Role Models.
The chairs were on display this week at the Pratt Show and the Model Citizens exhibit at The Chelsea Museum.