19 Chairs is a project created by two South London brothers, Tom and Will Butterfield. As two emerging designers living at home under the same roof during lockdown, they decided to utilise their free time and get creative. Over a period of 19 days, together the brothers created one chair a day, each unique in their own right. Each chair was then personally delivered to a selection of local and internationally established and emerging designers and artists to reinterpret in their distinguished aesthetic.
The line-up includes Tom Dixon, Es Devlin, Jean Jullien and Sabine Marcelis amongst others, who were briefed to ‘reinvent, reimagine or redesign’ the chairs ‘with an older person in mind.’
Tom and Will Butterfield have a shared talent and passion for design and craft. Tom is a Furniture and Product Designer, who has worked with Normann Copenhagen, Johannes Torpe and Tom Dixon. Will has recently graduated from Kingston School of Art, working as a Graphic Designer and Art Director. Their practices reflect a fascination with the materiality of design and object-making, which inspired their innovative approach to designing 19 different types of chairs.
“Using 27mm square section timber, and 40mm wood screws, our challenge was to design and build a chair a day throughout lockdown using materials that were easy to source. Limitations aside, using just the bare essentials, it is possible to create a unified collection. Understanding the basic ergonomics, we were able to design 19 functioning chairs that all look different from one another.”
The initiative is a creative response to the important issues prevalent in the world today post-Covid; to support and unite the collaborative essence between artists and creators in the face of a pandemic. To support social causes by donating the proceeds to Resourcing Racial Justice, a coalition of people of colour (POC) innovators, change makers, activists, artists and social leaders and Age UK — the UK’s leading charity for older people.