14 February 2009

Structural Collapse:
Konstantin Grcic’s ‘Chair One’


Objects ∕ Structural Collapse

Whether the structural failure of the chairs in the bottom photograph was down to the stripping away of structural members to their absolute minimum dimensions or to the specific composition of the aluminum alloy employed in their production, or to both, is a question that I cannot determine the answer to given my relative ignorance of both structural design and metallurgy.

I spotted the chairs on the terrace of the M. H. de Young Museum in San Francisco, California. Perhaps one or two of these wonderful, surprisingly comfortable chairs were defective; or they could have been vandalized by having been jumped on top of over and over again; or maybe they were just never intended to withstand the wear and tear of daily use in a public space. If the latter proves correct, then one could expect the terrace of the de Young Museum to gradually evolve into a scrapheap of andonized, die-cast and cataphoretically-treated aluminum chair remnants.