Chair, Unchained

Design Procedures Book 

As this project was dependent not on creating a logo for a particular product or brand, but rather intended to explore the psychological aspects and associations of the logo-as-symbol, my approach was to step away from obvious physical characteristics and redefine ‘chair’ by its connotative meaning. Based on thorough research of ‘chair,’ and its various contexts, I explored the intangible aspects of ‘chair,’ drawing from my attraction to both the mythological and conceptual associations relating to the word. 

The physicality of ‘chair,’ as an object is something concrete and grounding. A chair has legs; it is seated—planted in the ground; a chair is also existential in that it is anthropomorphically designed for man—it beckons him to sit, chains him to a desk, and pins him the surface of the earth. There is something ultimately constraining about ‘chair,’ that brought me to metaphors of binding.

From The Silver Chair in the Chronicles of Narnia—upon which a cruel enchantress keeps a prince bound in a state of forgetfulness for ten years, to the constellation representing Cassiopeia—who in Greek mythology was cast upside-down into the sky as punishment, to torture devices and electric chairs, this idea of a chair as something man is bound to came to me with inspiring fervor. Once a hostage bound and gaged upon the physicality of ‘chair,’ the idea of chair as something to be escaped and transcended was a revelation, and an area I most wanted to develop further. 

Contrasting this confinement, the idea of the chair in space, or a ‘space chair’ directly tied to associations with the constellations, and the openness and freedom provided in the realm beyond the stratosphere provided a place to achieve that escape from the binds of ‘chair.’ I was particularly influenced by the image and oddity of Toshiba’s Space Chair advertising campaign, and also by 50’s era ‘space age’ design in the mid-century modern style. I threw in a bit of Nietzschean overman (Übermensch), and the idea of a super chair, or perhaps an anti-chair bolting from its corporeal bounds, was born. 

While my design is intentionally abstract, it aims to surmise ideas of escape, transcendence, and of breaking free (and breaking apart, as the two are closely interrelated). When the viewer encounters my logo, and particularly the sum of my book as a whole, I want him to be curious and engaged, actively questioning the philosophical meaning of the piece and its relation to his own point of view. My intention is to have my underlying themes of escape, transcendence, and breaking to provide an intriguing platform for philosophical contemplation.
Back to Top