Chairs are among the most common pieces of furniture in the world today, and it is often associated with a state of being at rest, whether you’re just lounging or working at your desk. Some, however, see the chair as one of the most common colonial typologies in the world, regardless of the culture or location. Chairs inevitably become thrones of some sort, whether it’s the seat of an actual leader or a figurative master of one’s house or time. This rather distinctive chair sits in the middle, pardon the pun, providing a seat that anyone can use yet bears a regal and exquisite design that enthrones you in the center of the universe on a microcosmic level.
Designer: Peter Minsoub Sim
At the very first glance, you are greeted by a chair with an almost overpowering presence despite its use of humble hardwood maple. The chair itself is already full of intricate designs, but the cobalt blue glass spheres that extend from the armrests and the glass stars that line the halo of the backrest add even more eye-catching accents that contrast with earthy tones, and the rough, opaque surfaces of the wooden parts. This is clearly not your average chair, nor is it meant to be. As its name suggests, it’s designed to reflect the universe.
As they say, the devil is in the details, and the COSMOS chair definitely has plenty of them, some more difficult to see unless you squint your eyes. The minuscule brass birds perched on top of the branches that make the seat’s skeleton, as well as the wooden fish hanging below the seat, are almost completely hidden from view but represent the fauna that exists above and below. There is even a small figure hidden inside the mesh of the handcrafted sunflower in the middle of the seat, a 3D-printed avatar of the designer himself.
While some of those intricate design details are ornamental, others also serve a functional purpose. The small flowers in the side frames, for example, mask the joinery but at the same time also allow you to take a closer peek into that same joinery through the flowers’ meshes. On the other hand, some of the resulting imagery is purely accidental. That the halo of stars around the sun would actually make the chair look more like a throne was apparently not an intentional decision.
The COSMOS chair’s distinctive yet unorthodox design is intended to be a thought-provoking piece, both through its appearance as well as its story. Assembled from 400 unique pieces, the chair combines the best of digital and analog craftsmanship. It is also meant to challenge the dominant design trends of the times, neither minimalist nor maximalist, filled with complex details that serve functional purposes. It is meant to symbolize the connection between objects and man, creating a small version of the universe for the person to enjoy and reflect on.