“NOT ALLOWED TO SIT”- Museum of Chairs
When you think about furniture, a few adjectives can easily come to mind, describing such a common item, doesn’t usually require a lot of work, words like “useful” “comfortable”, and “handy” can appear in our heads when confronted with such an ordinary thing. maybe even the basic ones like “big” or “small”. The existence of this type of object is often seen as nothing more than a tool we need for a certain purpose, in this case: sitting. Its simplicity makes us oblivious to the different perspectives that can be found in such an immense world and as crazy as it sounds, there is a place that makes it impossible for us to fill the one purpose we have given chairs, throughout its existence. Here, this type of furniture is not seen as a form of relaxation but as a form of art. Reminding us that for something to have history, it does not have to be alive.
Down in Asuncion Paraguay, close to 600 chairs from different periods and styles, from functional to modernist, have been accumulated for years in a space that, far from being a storage room for old objects, houses the patrimony of the “Museum for Chairs of Asuncion”. This museum initially opened its doors in March 2013 with barely 300 chairs and the devotion of Argentinian architect Jorge Jury who at a young age, developed a fascination with this type of furniture that reminds him of the history that revolves around this item. Jorge explains that the chair is a symbol of family, given that any household has one and has been present for centuries, accompanying humans in their journey. Like us, chairs have been victims of globalization and constant change, that is why this museum has taken the work of enhancing the beauty that comes in many forms. More than 800 m² are dedicated to designing, three permanent exhibition halls, two temporary exhibition halls for events related to regional design, and a documentation center together with an auditorium for courses and conferences.
For this museum, chairs can represent family, that chair is tied to the time period that construct it, the economic situation of the family that owned it, and the taste that made them support the work of a certain designer. Full of hundreds of duplicates inspired by the furniture that changed the rough form of the usual chairs and replaced it with more molded and ergonomic shapes. The goal of this space is to acknowledge the industrialization and socialization of the design that carried these seats, the description given before was amplified, this thing didn’t have to stay mainly functional but can also be visual thanks to the designers that contributed to a new concept of the word art through an object that can be found everywhere.
This space is filled with pieces that derive from indigenous creativity to pieces dated in the 19th century and beyond, classic pieces that are known to the common person, found in any diner or restaurant are accompanied by the celebration of chairs that are part of important careers like barbers or dentists. Furthermore, you can find collections imitating important expressions of art such as the ones created by minds like Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Jean Prouvé, to name a few. The presence of eco-friendly pieces is not missing, with the exhibitions of pieces of Nordic origin that elaborate their parts with respectful and mindful alternatives for our planet.
This is a space created to generate design culture and support the work of local creators. It seeks to collect, preserve, exhibit, disseminate and promote the different expressions of design, using the chairs and their evolution in the history of industrialization.
Historical moments conceived, about people, anecdotes, places, and the muse that inspired each designer, you can find yourself immersed in the civilization process through the art of sitting down.