benandsebastian: Completely Dusty. Photo: Petra Bindel.
The justification for the awards from The Danish Arts Foundation Committee for Craft and Design:
The Committee for Craft and Design has chosen to award a prize to the architects benandsebastian for their work Completely Dusty, which was shown in the SE Association’s exhibition Sculptural Furniture in Thorvaldsens Museum in Copenhagen.
From a distance, this piece looks like what it presumably also is – a quite ordinary cube-shaped stool. Only on closer examination does it reveal its secrets: an almost inestimable wickerwork of rounded square and rectangular partial elements in carved veneer. The workmanship is delicate, not to say masterful, and in this shakily lyrical piece of furniture one can sense the designers’ fascination with for instance the 18th century’s quaint and incredibly time-demanding pieces of craft work such as we know from the Rosenborg collections. But here we see the ultimate contemporary … and thoroughly nerdy piece of furniture. A much needed corrective and – as also emerges from the catalogue text – a commentary on modernist furniture, which has produced an infinite series of variations on its themes and has now come to look pretty worn out. Benandsebastian shows that it is in concentration, in the long period of time spent on the individual work, that one of the many possible ways forward is to be found.
Foersom & Hiort-Lorenzen: No. 100. Photo: Petra Bindel.
The Committee for Craft and Design has chosen to award a prize to the architects Foersom & Hiort-Lorenzen for their chair No. 100, which was shown in the SE Association’s exhibition Sculptural Furniture in Thorvaldsens Museum in Copenhagen.
Everyone is familiar with it: a four-legged chair – legs and back on a firm seat – the back and seat variations on the same geometrical structure … no problem! But the problems also lie precisely in the endless repetitions of the phenomenon. For how is the viewer’s eye to be opened to the latent musicality of the concept? How can one promote yet another variation on a theme that might well appear to have been exhausted long ago? And why? And then when it’s made of wood…
But the secret lies in the tiny modulations. And the poetry! The slightly lower back fosters the sense of the slightly elongated seat, which is again helped by the faceting that emphasises both the front and the back of the seat – and by the variations in thickness. One of the two chairs exhibited, the Oregon pine variation, also makes use of the vein structure in order to promote a gentle geometric feel and producing a v-shaped reflection of the two halves of the seat as they are glued together. This is the Committee’s favourite. The poetry arises as a result of the gentle friction between the various elements in the chair – and not least between it and our habitual image of this very type of chair.
This chair is also an expression of outstanding skill, so mention must also be made of the fact that it was the cabinet-maker apprentices Nicklas Skov Jensen and Rasmus Haarby Drevald who were responsible for the workmanship.