Sitting Pretty

An everyday object we have all used, the chair has gone through many phases and changes throughout the centuries. Today we look closer at the Menorcan chair as well as at other fine examples of what we think are binichic chairs.

The chair is of extreme antiquity and simplicity, yet they haven’t always been as common as today. It is known that in ancient Egypt chairs were fashioned with the finest materials available and were used only by the elite. The chair has also often been a symbol of authority.

Before the Renaissance, stools and low tables were the standard sitting utensils for the masses. One of those stools — the church catre, or foldable stool — was the origin of what has become the Menorcan chair, often used to get fresh air on the town streets at dusk.

The image above is an illustration of those chairs by Susan Unger. Below, a catre stool on the left and a Menorcan chair on the right.

The story goes that a man called Miquel Anglada Alzina developed this folding chair in the Menorcan town of Ciutadella in the 1930s. Following the basic shape of the catre, he added the arm and back rests, using canvas for the support. These chairs are also locally known as Coca Rossa, as that was the name of the Anglada family home.

Upcycling is the process by which waste materials or useless products are used to make new materials or high quality products in a sustainable way. This process is something we hold very close to the BiniChic philosophy. Junktion is a group of designers who particularly stand out in this 21st Century movement, turning any unloved or homely object into a work of functional art + seating (and much more). They do it with love, thought and wit:

Junktion designers like to take unrelated objects and join them to see what happens, or sometimes simply turn them upside down on the table, take a step back and think : hmmmm….

The origins of each object are very clear: a palette, window shutters, bike parts, and old trunk… objects that no longer have a use, or others that have been lugged around the world and can’t last another mile, have a second chance.

Other times, when the original design is already streamlined, the finish is refined . Such is the case with the milking stool. A simple tripod with wooden legs has been updated with a aluminum top to fit the times.

And finally, a treat for the eyes — an environmentally friendly design with silk thread tightened around a bearing oak frame. Neither simple, traditional or upcycled, the Silk Chair by Alvi Design plays with the perception of weightlessness, transparency and light. A beautiful and precious utilitarian design — one that looks comfortable as well.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Sitting Pretty

  1. isa says:

    è straordinario cosa possono fare la fantasia e la creatività, oggetti molto belli

  2. susan says:

    I had no idea that the Menorcan chairs are a design unique to the island. They seem so universal, I thought
    they were simply brought over and used there. The last chair looks like a harp that would hum if left out in the wind! loved this post!

  3. Mary R says:

    Love the illustration!

  4. Mary MacDonald says:

    Great post. Love the Junktion stuff especially…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *