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September 22, 2009

I was thrilled to discover that East London is chock full of design do-gooders. The second stop of my tour of the Shoreditch design district was Lifestylebazaar, a home furnishing boutique filled with all sorts of designery goodies I won't be able to fit in my suitcase. While Ella Doran's placemat auction benefits Shelter, a UK homelessness charity, Lifestylebazaar is auctioning off nine reinterpretations of Philippe Starck's Louis Ghost chair for Kartell – itself a modern reinterpretation of the ornamental Louis XV-style chair. The proceeds will benefit the London-based Children With Aids Charity (CWAC).

The entrance to Lifestylebazaar beckons visitors from Design Week London.
The entrance to Lifestylebazaar beckons visitors from Design Week London.
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Through the window, some of the modified Ghost Chairs can be seen.
Through the window, some of the modified Ghost Chairs can be seen.
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Rupert Blanchard's Louis Ghost Crate Chair
Rupert Blanchard's Louis Ghost Crate Chair
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Nurisso's chair brings intricate decoration to the starkly simply chair, a salute to Louis XV-era furniture and to the children's charity that the event will benefit.
Nurisso's chair brings intricate decoration to the starkly simply chair, a salute to Louis XV-era furniture and to the children's charity that the event will benefit.
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A close-up of Nurisso's playful chair.
A close-up of Nurisso's playful chair.
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Reiko Kaneko's chair features a flock of birds in flight.
Reiko Kaneko's chair features a flock of birds in flight.
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Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers draped transparent sheeting over the transparent Ghost Chair, making it even more ethereal.
Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers draped transparent sheeting over the transparent Ghost Chair, making it even more ethereal.
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Kelly McCallum's burned chair, animated with a hummingbird.
Kelly McCallum's burned chair, animated with a hummingbird.
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Detail of te hummingbird in Kelly McCallum's chair.
Detail of te hummingbird in Kelly McCallum's chair.
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Martha Smith's tattooed Ghost chair.
Martha Smith's tattooed Ghost chair.
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Thelermont Hupton adds a plate of British fare to the chair, camouflaging it by using the same material as the chair.
Thelermont Hupton adds a plate of British fare to the chair, camouflaging it by using the same material as the chair.
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Thelermont Hupton's translucent plate, up close.
Thelermont Hupton's translucent plate, up close.
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Pure Evil's version is dripping with black and pink krink ink.
Pure Evil's version is dripping with black and pink krink ink.
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Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers and Pure Evil chairs
Valentina Gonzalez Wohlers and Pure Evil chairs
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A trio of chairs on display in the window.
A trio of chairs on display in the window.
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The entrance to Lifestylebazaar beckons visitors from Design Week London.
The entrance to Lifestylebazaar beckons visitors from Design Week London.

Shop co-owner Laurent Nurisso, one of the designers of the chairs, enlisted eight other designers, including a tattoo artist and a graffiti artist, for the project. My personal favorite was the “Louis Ghost Crate Chair” by Rupert Blanchard, described as “Gerrit Rietvield meets Philippe Starck”.

A close-up of Nurisso's playful chair.
A close-up of Nurisso's playful chair.
Blanchard, who uses salvaged materials in his own work, created a second chair in the style of Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld's 1934 Crate Chair to go side by side with Starck's piece, leaving the original in tact. All of the chairs but one are currently on display at the Shoreditch shop. The final, based on the theme of 'Marie Antoinette: Let Them Eat Cake,' will be an experiment in edible seating. The chair will be transformed with cakes, sweets and meringues and served during a reception on Friday night.

In the video below, Nurisso explains the background for the exhibition, called “Losing the Plot":

 

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