SAM CHERMAYEFF "BEASTS"
SAM CHERMAYEFF "BEASTS"
OCT 15 - DEC 22 2021
For his first solo exhibition at Side gallery, Berlin Based architect Sam Chermayeff (New York City, 1981) draws on intuition in relation to the creation of furniture. This new series, tentatively named “Beasts” is both a continuation and departure from previous projects, as surprising applications intend to transform our encounter and sharpen our connection to the work.
Each of the twenty plus works is a body that invites our bodies to inhabit specific settings. A chair is a desk, a hutch is place to put on shoes and make-up, a sofa is a place to face ones interlocutor and so on. Each piece endeavors to engender a new relationship between our diverse physicality and our everyday lives. In some cases we use these pieces alone and in others they bring us together. We understand ourselves through our interactions with the pieces and we commune with others.
Sam Chermayeff Office has been working on the idea of the body in relation to our use of furniture for a long time. This show is no different but as a series, distilled here, it is taking a further step by quite literally sharping our connection to the work. Its forms come from typologies that we understand intuitively. A table is still a table, even if it is also a light that supports its reflecting surface. This reflection might make the object disappear while its function, eating, working and so on come to the fore. It also makes us, doing those things, appear.
Prior to this show, the office tried to make things happy and relatable, because of an abstract idea of joy. Here the joy remains and is seen in our inhabitation. We are expected to use these things, to put our lives onto and into them. They are called beasts because we must take the last step of their creation.
Over the last two decades, Sam Chermayeff has undertaken a number of experimental projects related to the development of his personal experiences in both architecture and, furniture design. Of particular relevance, in 2015, he developed two new furniture typologies, a bed and a kitchen, both which literally represent the idea of community – or if you like, ‘joint venture’. His Triangular Bed, by surface 40% larger than an average double bed and occupying more than 4.5 square meters, can easily be considered a room of one’s own, a hermaphrodite, existing between a service area and a playground that is obviously destined for more than one purpose, be it to rest, relax, have sex or to sleep. The design is taken to such a height that even the bed lien is bespoke, including triangular couture pillows. If the Triangular Bed stresses a common use, the individual elements for the Free Kitchen seem to form a community in itself. Developed first as a prototype ensemble for the architect’s own use, basically designing unique single plinths and stands with specific heights and proportions for some of his own kitchen gear, (toaster, sink, bin, fish tank, etc), and combining them with kitchen furniture, such as the dishwasher, fridge, stove, shelf, and table, the kitchen-concept itself became somehow freestanding, if not liberated. The Free Kitchen offered a true innovation, actively interacting with other areas of our habitat. It was the development of these two typologies that have since led to the development some 50 furniture prototypes, whose use, appearance, or application has been reimagined and readapted, each piece created by an intuition to create a more versatile domestic landscape.