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).
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”.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":