A student competition held in the summer semester of 2014 saw overseas students from IMIAD partner universities and students on the HFT’S undergraduate Interior Design programme jointly develop an urban furniture concept for Stuttgart’s Hospitalviertel district. The aim of the “Take a Seat” concept is to use donated chairs of a variety of forms and standards to create a homogeneous, memorable aesthetic. The way in which the mobile chairs are sourced and used turns the concept into a social process in which the citizens of Stuttgart are invited to participate.
Wandering chairs on Hospitalplatz, photo: arge lola
The chairs are free to use and available to everyone at all times. Once collected, the chairs all go through a standardized preparation process which not only enhances the surface of the chairs, but also ensures that they offer the degree of robustness required for outdoor use. This in turn significantly extends the life of chairs which would otherwise have ended up at the dump. As a result of their uniform surface design, the chairs also create a USP for the quarter.
Individual, freestanding chairs were consciously chosen due to their capacity for continual refunctionalization. The furniture is available for all purposes, and therefore creates a connection between the church, educational institutions, businesses, the restaurant trade and residents of the Hospitalviertel. A label on the bottom of each chair gives its origin/identity and describes its journey within the city.
The “Take a Seat” concept was implemented by students from IMIAD partner universities under the title “Wandering Chairs” in the summer semester of 2015. A collection campaign led to the donation of almost 70 old chairs. 10 of them were prepared for their new life on Hospitalplatz at a street festival in the Hospitalviertel, thus making their transformation visible to local residents.
Collection campaign on Hospitalplatz
A pile of donated chairs
Chair donors had the opportunity to have their photo taken with their donation
The “Architectural Culture On And Around Hospitalplatz” project was developed and realized by LRO Lederer Ragnarsdóttir Oei GmbH & Co.KG. It received an “Exemplary Construction” award from the Baden-Württemberg Chamber of Architects, with the “Wandering Chairs” concept one of the elements singled out for particular praise by the jury.
For more information, please refer to www.wanderstuhl.wordpress.com.