“Sit” is a bodily position, “down” is direction, and “please” is a request.
Sit: To place one’s buttocks on an object, i.e., “sit down,” “please sit,” “to sit on a chair.”
Seat: a place for sitting, i.e., “to be seated,” “a seat,” “seats are fully booked.”
Do: To carry out work or action, i.e., “do something,” “do work,” “do business,” “do an experiment.”
Did you know that according to statistics, a person spends 9.3 hours sitting on average each day? The amount of time is even more than the 7.7 hours spent sleeping.
Sitting is closely connected with the development of our lifestyles. From sitting on the floor, sitting on rocks, or reclining on tree trunks, we have slowly mastered the craft of making chairs using natural materials at hand, creating chairs from bamboo, wood, or metal. Later, the Industrial Revolution made it possible for chairs to be seen everywhere in our lives.
With this in mind, think about this: Do you choose your chairs carefully? Do you sit upright? Have you enjoyed time alone in a chair? Do you fully appreciate the physical attributes of chairs?
If you look closely at the development of chairs, you will see that it is intimately connected with industrial technology and lifestyle changes. Sit Down Please centers around chairs designed in Taiwan and presents its developmental trajectory. Taiwan gradually shifted from an agricultural society to industrial times in the 1930s, and chairs became more than symbols and benchmarks of industrial development and evolved into interpretations and indications of culture. Therefore, by examining chairs, we are able to read the different concepts towards life in Taiwan as well as imaginations of the future throughout different periods of time.
Chairs can offer a perspective on life in Taiwan. Since Mr. Yen Shui-Long, the Father of Taiwan Craft, started promoting the aesthetic enlightenment movement, local materials and traditional craftsmanship were integrated into the design of chairs made with bamboo. These efforts aimed to encourage scientific and reasonable production methods while promoting economic development and paved the way for the renaissance of Taiwanese craft.
Chairs have transformed from bamboo craft, machine-manufactured wooden furniture to metal finishing, and plastic injection molding. At the same time, chairs are seen in family life, parental care, offices, and even throughout the trend of ice dessert stores. Today, due to individual and local awakening, chair designs have given birth to a new corporate generation of visions and ambitions after the year 2000. The bold interdisciplinary merge between design and craft manifests the timely quality of the current trend of mix and match, as well as re-interpreting positive sentiments towards the past.
Designs should never be interpreted through single perspectives. Rather than merely meeting fundamental needs, designers should have a keen sensitivity and the ability to tackle the work from different contexts of thought. Furthermore, designers should have a deep understanding of life, and even the ability to surpass present thinking obstacles. In the minds of designers, chairs become more than chairs, and the design is formed through repeated contemplation that is eventually translated onto paper, finally manifesting through countless draft revisions, endless discussions on materials, mixed with insight from experiences. Ultimately, the designer has one wish, and one wish only, which is that users can appreciate and enjoy the design, and viewers will be able to acknowledge the story behind the design, whether it be humor, excitement, or nostalgia.
A carefully-selected chair has the potential to bring changes to life. View the chair as a dialogue with the self, savor your alone time with it, and make it an opportunity for self-care. Listen to music or read a book, and be present. Face the self with honesty and return to the deep corners of the heart, the authenticity of daily life.
This exhibition is a response to contemporary life. In times when malls have become the main location for purchasing furniture, this exhibition hopes to become a starting point of re-organizing the history of Taiwan design, and that the genuine passion for creativity can leave imprints in the future.
About the Exhibition
Exhibition date: Tuesday, March 10th – Sunday, July 5th
Venue: Taiwan Design Museum Room 06 (Song Yan Court, Songshan Cultural and Creative Park)
Organizer: Industrial Development Bureau, Ministry of Economic Affairs
Executer: Taiwan Design Research Institute
Curator: DHH Studio
Visual: adj. everything