19 Chairs

19 Chairs built in 19 days delivered to 19 locations reworked by 19 creatives
in the
COVID-19 lockdown

Reacting to the damage of COVID-19, 19 Chairs is a celebration. In aid of Age UK and Resourcing Racial Justice, our 19 handmade chairs have journeyed thousands of miles to be reworked by leading artists and designers.

Lockdown. We were two fidgety creatives (and brothers) with limited bog roll and limitless news. Anything stable, sturdy and decisively NOT ‘unprecedented’ became our inspiration. To us, nothing seemed more predictable, or humble, than the chair.

As an ode to this gloriously common furniture piece, stage 1 of the project saw us design and build a unique chair a day over 19 days of lockdown. With most businesses shut, we couldn’t be fussy with materials. 27 millimetre square-section timber and 40 millimetre wood screws would do the job. We learnt two things: the bare essentials are all you need to create a unified collection… and our 27 times table.

And with that, stage 2 began. The chairs were shipped worldwide to 19 celebrated creatives who had volunteered to become their custodians. We asked them to ‘reinvent, reimagine or redesign your chair with an older person in mind.’ The brief was a nod to the outstanding work of Age UK, connecting our collaborators with those experiencing the isolating effects of the pandemic most deeply. On their behalf, the designers cut loose, then packaged their creations ready for return.

To see all 19 Chairs reunited and ripped from their packaging, come and join us at Protein Studios from the 22nd to the 25th of April at our exhibition. An online charity auction will run in parallel from the 1st to the 30th of April, where each customised chair will be sold. All profits will be split equally and donated to the heroes at Age UK and Resourcing Racial Justice.

Line up: Harry Grundy / Max Siedentopf / Benjamin Edgar / James Shaw / Antony Williams / Wilfrid Wood / Isabel + Helen / Morag Myerscough / Brandon Carlton / Sabine Marcelis / Jean Jullien / Helmut Smits / Ashley Williams / Henry Gorse / Joe Lycett / Emma Brewin / Nicole McLaughlin / Tom Dixon / Es Devlin

A stay at home collaboration with my brother Will Butterfield.