|Architect Gerrit Rietveld designed his iconic chairs—|
this one dates from the early 1920s—as sculptural
statements. He didn't consult his butt regarding the design.
What makes people think an architect is qualified to design everyday, utilitarian objects? You wouldn’t hire a surgeon to rebuild your motor; why expect an architect to excel at designing kitchenware? We architects are trained to design buildings. While many of us would like to think we’re just as dandy at designing other things, the facts don’t seem to bear this out.
|Frank Loyd Wright frequently designed furniture for his|
houses; this dining set was for Chicago's famed Robie House
of 1909. Wright was probably not the only one to be
black and blue from sitting in his furniture.
|Wright's original chair design for the|
S.C. Johnson Administration Building (1939):
It was redesigned with four legs.
|American Standard's Platner|
toilet: Not a moneymaker,
but certainly a conversation piece.
|One of Katerina Kamprani's "Uncomfortable" items:|
Finally, an architect who gets it.
(Image courtesy of Katerina Kamprani)
One clever architect, Athens-based Katerina Kamprani, has turned the whole architect-designed-object fiasco on its head by creating what she calls "The Uncomforable"—a series of everyday objects that are deliberately unusable right from the outset. Apparently, Kamprani knows something that most of us haven't figured out yet.