Chairs for charity

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Highest bid: George Livissianis’ neon tube interpretation of the Series 7 chair.
(Photo credit: Tim Robinson Photography)

By Kent Dahl

Republic of Fritz Hansen is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its iconic Series 7-chair with various exhibitions worldwide. Recently, the Danish furniture maker teamed up with its Australian distributor, Cult Design, for a charity project.

Cult Design’s “Chairity Project 2015” invited leading Australian and New Zealand creative professionals to reinvent the Danish architect Arne Jacobsen’s iconic chair design. Each person was given complete freedom to reinvent the 7-chair series. After being exhibited, it was auctioned off to a charity of the creators’ own choice.

Building on the success of last year’s charity project, Cult expanded the line-up of participants from a cross section of industrial design, architecture, art, as well as floral and jewelry design. They included renowned local talents such as Dinosaur Designs, Akira Isogawa and David Trubridge. Cult Design’s “Chairity Project 2015” raised AUD 51,338 at a recent auction in Sydney.

An artwork by George Livissianis got the highest bid and raised AUD 5,250. The Sydney-based interior architect is especially known for his work in retail outlets and restaurants including the restaurant, The Apollo, in Sydney. For his reinvention of the Series 7 chair, George Livissianis rendered the iconic silhouette of the chair in neon lighting, which was installed in a Perspex box.

“I thought one chair would be a little lonely, so I thought about what else we could do with the chair – beyond it being a seat,” he says and continues: “The silhouette of the Series 7 chair is so iconic and the idea of neon came into the equation, and we ended up with a neon silhouette.”

George Livissianis donated the money from the auction to the Australian Fred Hollows Foundation, which is a non-profit organization founded by eye surgeon Fred Hollows in 1992. The Foundation focuses on treating and preventing blindness and other vision problems. “There is an obvious connection between light and sight, and Fred also shared a great passion for furniture and craftsmanship,” says George Livissianis.

Read more about “Chairity Project 2015” here.