Chairs suck – do we really need another chair? Brazilian design studio Furf tells us
For countless generations, the relentless progression of time and the collective efforts of industrious designers across the globe have resulted in the continuous creation of an immense assortment of chairs
It’s clear that we’re being provocative, but the question still lingers. When we co-launched (as DesignWanted) the design_SUCKS. brand at the Milan Design Week in 2022, we made an exciting announcement about our collaboration with the advertising agency Dude and the acclaimed Brazilian design studio, Furf. This partnership gave birth to our first brand interpretation friendly called Chairs Suck.
Why? Well, Mauricio Noronha and Rodrigo Puppi Brenner, founders of Furf Design Studio, explain it all in this interview. But to keep it brief, we wanted to capture the ironic values of design_SUCKS. and incorporate them into a tangible design product.
Chairs have always been a playground for designers—countless variations in materials, finishes, and colors. So, Furf, being the clever minds they are, decided to give the concept of a chair a fresh twist. They transformed it into a foundational component for other products, shedding its original purpose and emerging as the very essence of new objects. It’s like turning a chair into a work of art with a whole new function.
Our collaboration with Dude (from the minds and creativity of whom the design_SUCKS. brand was born) and Furf allowed us to express our ironic design values while giving birth to something truly unique and thought-provoking (which, by the way, can be purchased – just contact us at email@example.com for more information).
What does the ‘design sucks’ spirit represent to you?
“The power of playfulness. Once we allow ourselves to make fun of something that we think that ‘sucks’, we can actually start serious discussions for a better future. Make the brain smile.”
In this project, you used the chair to represent the essence of ‘design sucks.’ Why?
“Centuries of evolution and industrial designers all over the world, after “studying” for years, keep designing a humongous pile of chairs. Including us. Probably you are reading this text sitting on this piece of furniture – and we have nothing against it. But maybe the world does not need just another one. But designers just can’t help it. We are addicted to it! So we created with Design Sucks not only one chair, but a lot of them.
The chair is probably the most iconic artifact produced by designers. The most acclaimed designers from all over the world have already designed it and deep in our collective subconscious we have the idea of a chair. A simple one. The one that a kid would draw. A very generic and dull chair.
Digitally we modeled this chair and arranged them in such a way that would be almost impossible in the material world, that’s why we 3D printed it. A pile of tiny chairs that can be used as an extremely sculptural luxurious trash bin: duality and irony.”
Which other products could replace the chair, and why?
“That’s the point: the chair is irreplaceable. Design could be more useful to the world if we focused on not creating (so many) new chairs. But let’s face it: we simply love to do it. Well, chairs suck, Design Sucks.”
From your perspective, what aspects of the design industry ‘suck’? If you had a magic wand, what would you change?
“Lack of authenticity of both brands and designers, to embrace exclusivity as something marvelous, the overemphasis on trends and superficial aesthetics, to name a few. Nature embraces plurality and diversity but it seems we opt not to see that.
A magic (and well designed) wand would be wonderful to foster not only diversity and inclusivity, but overall, to transform the design industry into a more inclusive, sustainable, and socially responsible field that actively contributes to a better future for both people and the planet, even better if in a poetic way.”
Your studio has a strong focus on sustainability. What defines a sustainable product? What aspects, not just the product itself, should be taken into consideration?
“We are very proud of being appointed as instructors of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a recognition of the positive impact of our creations. To fully embrace sustainability, our mission encompasses environmental, social, and economic accomplishments.
Every day, we witness the mass production of “bad” products, resembling an overwhelming “army of evil.” Deficient manufacturing processes, improper utilization, flawed life cycles…
The goal might be to design meaningful, significant, and well-conceived objects that endure not only due to their quality but also due to their significance to the user. To emerge victorious in this battle, we cannot afford to be timid with isolated actions.
As the global population continues to increase, it becomes imperative that we undertake a mission to mass-produce the forces of good—an army comprising fair, intelligent, humane, sustainable, and authentic products.”
Note: if you want to buy the Chairs suck products (seen in this article), contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.