The Rietveld Chair
A professor once told me (and a class of 30 others interested in “Architecture after the Industrial Revolution”) that a student had long ago gifted to him his very own Rietveld Chair, painted and assembled by hand. As I tried to envision the iconic collage of primary colors in any house, my professor proceeded to explain how the rigid, angled planes of the Rietveld Chair had a remarkable effect on the human body: the sitter resting in what the Dutch architect had foreseen to be a simultaneously mass-produced and artisanal object would experience an unexpected floating sensation, a state of relaxation bestowed upon any working class man who can pick up a saw and hammer (and a paint brush, I suppose).
Though Rietveld Year has come and gone (in case you missed it, June 24, 2010 to January 30, 2011 was officially and wholly dedicated to the architect), a good remix of a classic can often likewise stand the test of time. Taking cues from contemporary trends in music, the DZA “remixed” Rietveld’s now canonized design according to various musical genres.
'King Tubby' Rietveld
The clarity of color, shape and form make the Rietveld Chair a prime candidate for the sampling, covering, remixing and collaboration that is now commonplace in the music industry. Taking inspiration from a 12” vinyl single release, the DZA produced variations of the Rietveld Chair expressive of different styles of music: dub music switched the iconic De Stijl blue with green for a Rastafarian flavor, while pop music was cleverly expressed as an Ikea-style flat pack. An experimentation with an ‘extended edition’ led to a Rietveld bench, and ‘classical’ Rietveld abandoned colors altogether for refined finished wood. We’re ready to take design proposals for Polka Rietveld.
Rietveld Extended Edition
[All images courtesy the designers]