On Sunday, as part of MAKESHIFT 2013, we co-hosted a Chair Workshop, modeled after the MAKESHIFT 2012 workshop, Crafting Design, sponsored by Partners and Spade. This year we teamed up with Build It Green!NYC (BIG!NYC) and Krrb and invited an array of makers to join us for an afternoon of collaboration, innovation, and chair re-design. While our event at The Standard focused on conversation (though there was plenty of making going on as well), the chair event has evolved into a make-centered occasion where a community of designers work both independently and together through skill sharing and mutual encouragement.
The event was held at BIG!NYC’s restore facility in Brooklyn – a warehouse filled with doors, fireplace mantels, sinks, mirrors, tiles and a number of other goods, much of it vintage and antique, acquired through donations and offered at low prices for those looking to save money (and the landfill) in home renovations. Or in the case of friend Kerry Diamond (of Cherry Bombe Magazine) and her chef/partner Robert Newton, the interior of their third and most recent restaurant, Nightingale 9, was designed with salvage bought from BIG!NYC.
All chairs were donated to BIG!NYC and given to participants, who repaired them, embellished them, or in some cases, completely repurposed them by combining aspects from more than one chair into a singular new creation. The energy was high and creativity sparked.
Various supplies from the Alabama Chanin studio included 100% organic cotton jersey scraps and pulls, thread and needles, stencils, and tools. Build it Green! provided essential tools like hammers, nails, screws, drills, staple guns, heavy duty adhesive, paint, brushes, and even a hair dryer.
Amy Devers from “Fix This Yard” on A&E joined us to help guide designers in the nitty-gritty of furniture re-doing, along with Andrew Wagner of Krrb. Kristen Wentrcek of Wintercheck Factory came and made an awesome love-seat/bench from three chairs.
As our guests finished up their chairs, a DJ played, Brooklyn Brewery ales were imbibed, and local fare was devoured.
Most of our makers left their chairs with BIG!NYC to be auctioned off with 100% of proceeds going to help support the restore facility and staff in their efforts to keep landfills clear of reusable debris. Natalie and the Alabama Chanin team also worked on a chair – a bench actually – with the help of Amy Devers and friends Gael Towey and Kay Gardiner, which will be auctioned off as well.
A huge thanks to our co-sponsors, Build It Green!NYC and Krrb, and to all the designers who braved the drab weather to join us for this great event.