University of Waterloo Chair Projects



The Chair Project

The University of Waterloo School of Architecture chair project presented 5 chairs from their Chair Project at Come Up To My Room 2009 at the Gladstone Hotel.

The project requires the design, construction and structural analysis of a folding or take-apart wood chair.  Course assignments guide the project through the steps of research, conceptualization, design development, construction, review and presentation, comprehensive structural analysis of the chair in its different positions, and complete documentation of the process in a booklet.  Students are encouraged to select a client who inspires them, and to approach the design with attention to the Vitruvian goals of firmness, commodity and delight –emphasis on delight!

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Shamir Panshal & Ray Wang  — Chair for Tagore

“Music fills the infinite between two souls.”
– Rabindranath Tagore

The works of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), the Bengali poet, novelist, and composer, have traveled far beyond the boundaries of the subcontinent and have become a spiritual guide to those who have experienced it. The Tagore Chair, dedicated to this mystic and visionary man, is a seat of sublime action, a platform of energy and music upon which knowledge and understanding rest, but only momentarily until they are uttered to the world.

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Gabriel Guy – White relief Chair / Chair for Constant

Constantly involved in a search for new ways to engage ones surroundings as a space of play and human self actualization, Constant sought a dissolution of the implied boundaries between life and art. This chair project begins as a modern relief by the artist Ben Nicholson, and exists as aesthetic artifact.  With the active participation of the viewer the artifact is disassembled and reorganized (according to its inherent compositional rules), thereby reinscribing it as an object of use (toilet).

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Mark Zupan & Matthew R. Compeau — Chair for Theo Jansen

Kinetic sculptor Theo Jansen has devoted his life’s work to the evolution of mechanical beasts that walk on the beach, powered by the wind.  His designs are fuelled by genetic algorithms, allowing the design to evolve organically, based on fitness criteria. This chair explores a new generation of aesthetic objects, which have evolved through a direct response to the users engaging them.  This evolutionary process embodies a new approach to design: one that pulls down the walls between art and engineering.

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Jane Wong — This is a Chair / Chair for rei Kawakubo

Rei Kawakubo is best known for her eclectic compositions, most notably displayed through her brand, Comme des Garçons.  She deconstructs, dematerializes, and abstracts her pieces, challenging the way we see and define clothing and how the body interacts with it.  Similarly, in its most abstracted form, a chair is anything that supports the body. It reshapes your expectations of comfort and commits to a new vision. A table can be a chair, a stoop becomes a chair, a piece of cloth on the ground becomes
a chair; this is a chair.

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Jamie Ferreira Chair for Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) was a masterful Japanese film director with an inspirational vision and creative fervour. The exploration of Japanese identity and culture in his films engage in the discovery of truth, its modern meaning and one’s transformation through his exploration of it. The Kurosawa chair is based on the principles of desire and search for perfection and improvement of one’s craft. The chair’s length and curve bear a close resemblance to a samurai sword and its different positions act as an exploration of what a chair is, and can be.



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