In "Recent Uploads" at the Appel Gallery in Berlin, designer Ronen Kadushin exhibited a series of chairs laser cut from 6-mm thick sheets of aluminum. Says Kadushin, "Each chair draws its inspiration from different narratives: design references, emotional states, city life, and street art. But as a group they realize a personal design approach that embraces free improvisation and an immediacy of outcomes." We sent a few queries to Kadushin, and he told of the influences behind his designs, which include Ron Arad, hackers, and a certain member of Crosby Stills Nash & Young.
"I was an apprentice at Ron Arad's One-Off back in 1989. It was then more like a workshop for producing his steel sheet welded furniture designs," says Kadushin. "I was doing things like finishing the welds and polishing the surface of the chairs and sweeping the floor, real apprentice work. I was there for four months. It did influence my design, not so much aesthetically, but rather on having a clear notion that if I was going to be a designer then I have to trust my instincts, develop my own design language and opinions and—most important—have fun while doing so."
Of the many interesting features of the chairs, one in particular stands out: he's provided all the information needed for someone to create one of the designs on their own—a very democratic gesture. Anyone who wants a chair can download the open source designs and have them fabricated (and of course, completed chairs can be purchased from the Appel Design Gallery ).
"The first to pick [Open Source Design] up were open culture professionals: open source people, DIY sites, Creative Commons, hackers, and of course design students from all over the world," says Kadushin "I've felt a tremendous wave forming that is pushing the open culture to the front of public awareness with open source software, hackers, fabbers, makers, open hardware, and so on."
Ingenuity is clearly present in these chairs, but how about functionality?
"I'm making a statement about my freedom as an Open Designer to do as I like. These chairs are not your consumer seating solution; I wanted them expressive—with a good amount of disregard to Good Design," says Kadushin. "Distortion guitar sounds good to some, awful to others. I had this notion of chairs that are Rock n' Roll; I was looping Neil Young's "Le Noise" when I designed the collection."
Perhaps the deigns are more suited to looking at than sitting upon, but they will support a person. "Not tested until collapse but it can seat me," says Kadushin. "See the video, people actually sat on these chairs!"