With this typical Gielijn Escher poster a wonderfull collection of 100 chairs was announced. As part of the Lloyd Hotel’s Cultural Embassy program a joint exhibitions was presented of several private chair-collections. This exhibit went beyond its boundries into the intimicy of the hotels floors, rooms and hallways, highlighting their own corporate furniture collection. Gerrit Oorthuys took the initiative of this exhibit and generously showed us around.
Coinciding with the Foundation Year’s January Project Theme “Dull”, we set out to research the origin of a few selected chairs to find out their relation to the motto: original, copy or look-alike. Erik Slothouber (participating in the exhibition with his own designs) lectured on the 2 Rietveld Academies in Amsterdam and Arnhem illustrating the complexity of the choosen motto.
Research material was edited down to A4 sized guided tours into selected subjects. All subjects presented in this list are also available as hard copy research prints at the ResearchFolders available at the Rietveld library.
As the two collections represent old and modern classic chairs, it gave us the opportunity to carefully select an interesting designers scala spanning the whole of twentieth century furniture design. Starting with Thonet and architect/interiour designers Mackintosh and De Bazel. Bauhaus professor architect and artist Max Bill was highlighted next to Gerrit Rietveld and the renowned interier shop Metz&Co, through which his furniture icons were often first sold. Erik Slothouber’s lecture connected the early to the late Rietveld and simultaneously presented a link to the architect/designers duo Slothouber & Graatsma. Including the company Rietveld by Rietveld constructed the ideal moebius loop in the “original versus copy” motto.
Including Charles and Ray Eames felt like a must as is Vitra for its museum’s chair collection and chair manufacturing. Don’t forget we were talking about originals versus copies versus look-alikes. The Revolt chair –present in many classrooms of our academy– introduced dutch designer Friso Kramer. Lloyds furniture collection containes many modern designer from which we selected, Tejo Remy, Piet Hein Eek, Jasper Morrisson, Hella Jongerius and Ineke Hans. Finally we added some intriguing subject we coul not resist like: an African stool, poet and craftsman Frits Swart, the poster designer Gielijn Escher and a story about the “zitzak” van Audrey Lai Ng that never saw the daylight.