A living manifesto in ten objects:

#7 Chair

• 27.09.2018

Read the manifesto in our first article #1 Armchair.

Two men meet on a lonely country side spot and sit down in the shadow of a oak, or maybe a rusty metal sheet. The first one is a farmer. The second is a lawyer. Agriculture needs help. The lawyer works as a voluntary officer for an organisation that takes care of giving new life to lands confiscated from the Mafia. He is sitting there in order to give his advice to the farmer for a new start in the name of law.

This scene is fiction. It’s the result of my mind. At the same time it’s a vivid image, which came to me while working on a project for a mobile fair pavilion capable of hosting this kind of activities in the South of Italy. At that precise moment I imagined this type of encounter between two brave men, with the intent not to succumb to fate. I wondered about the symbolic shape of a chair, placed in such a context. A place where those two men could meet and a chair to sit on. Inside this imaginary place the “free” chair was born, together with this dasein manifesto of ten objects, as a symbolic way to react against someone’s own destiny. This version of the free chair has been lightly modified in order to make it fit the context. The shape changes, the matter, in this case, does not.

A, B, C, D. FSC certified fir strips, planed and variably sized. The profiles are available in length of 1 m or 2,5 m and can be bought in any DIY store (e.g., Coopbau, Jumbo, Migros DoIt, Bauhaus etc.). With this scheme you can get the pieces cut on site by the customer service offered by a.m. retailers. Try to select the profiles with fewer knots and as straight as possible.
E, E1. FSC certified fir strips, class B from one single panel. Size: 1.8 x 40 x 120 cm. Mentioned sizes are net, with a net cut of about 3 mm.
F. Electric drill / screwdriver, with 3mm wood drill bit.
G. Hole drill of ø65 mm.
H. Screwdriver. We recommend to use an electric screwdriver.
I. Pencil
L. Extensible measuring tape.
M. VDrywall screws 3.5×35 mm, black (important).

Mark with the pencil (I) the measures shown on each end of profiles of type D/B and C.

Use the 3 mm wood drill tip (F) to drill the holes according to the measuring marks. Use the first drilled profile as an example to drill following drills. We suggest placing a scrap under the profiles while drilling to avoid damage to the underlying surface

Fasten profile B to the short end of the two profiles C. Check the joint to be perfectly perpendicular to profile A. Repeat these steps to form the two portals of the chair structure.

Fasten the two portals of the chair to the two profiles D which form the carrying frame. Insert the base first, then bring the frame in right-up position and fasten the second carrying profile of the seat. Check now that the chair steadily rests onto the floor without “limping”.

Proceed now to prepare the seat and the back. Set all marks with a pencil according to the scheme. Make two holes with a ø6.5cm hole drill in the centre on each middle of element E1. Set two marks at the same height, but at three centimetres from the edge, where you will then fasten the back to the seat.

Place the seat E onto the bench frame. Take care that the wood grains are parallel to the front of the chair (important detail to avoid the panel to split). Fasten all screws of the strips in order to secure the seat. Important: the seat panel must protrude three centimetres from the edge of the lower frame. This makes the rear more comfortable.

Now that you have made the rear, put it in place. Set it first against the seat and fasten from below with two screws on top of seat. Be careful and do not fasten too tight. This could chip the panel. After this go ahead and fasten the upper part of the rear to the frame on the back.

Your chair is now ready. The eyelet is to take and move the chair. The first version of this chair was with rear which was identical to the seat. The new version might be less suitable to country side life. The higher rear gives the chair a more sculptural and royal aspect. Despite this, the chair stands as a symbol for the appropriation of one’s own destiny.

Illustration: Antonio Scarponi