Far left: Chair  Anatomy. Middle: Chair Archive.  Right: Chair Archive.
Below: Chair Anatomy.

Ralph Ball and Maxine Naylor

Chair Poetics: envisioning anonymity

19–30 September 2009

Ralph Ball and Maxine Naylor use design as a critical, visual discourse to communicate ideas about design culture and society today. In Chair Poetics ordinary, everyday chairs are reconfigured to ask questions about our relationship to utility, familiarity, obsolescence, sustainability and value.

The exhibition, timed to coincide with the London Design Festival, presents their recent and current visual observations, including Chair Anatomy, a series of stacking/linking constructions, and Chair Archive, a group of encased, previously discarded chairs, ambiguously inter-playing container and content.

Ball and Naylor: work, biographies, research >


BALL and NAYLOR say of their work: ‘It is important to re-establish visual contemplation and communication: to put the brakes on unreflective proliferation and superficial replication. It is time to provide critical, reflective and ironic commentary on our condition and our cultures of consumption of both material and information. It is time to properly value what we have, to reject superficiality and to play seriously. It is time to put meaning and content back into design.
‘We are interested in finding forms of expression where structure and material resolution are taken as given and the designed object as cultural information can be contemplated. Our work focuses on reconnecting and building authentic, narrative layers of meaning back into objects that have lost meaningful significance, rationale and value under the shear proliferation of inferior copies. Today production belongs to everyone with a computer. Speed, quantity and the seductive power of production have become ends rather than means. Meaning has disappeared as method over-takes.’
— From Form Follows Idea by Ball and Naylor, published by Black Dog