Conversation Pieces

CLIENT:
DesignTO; King East Design District

SIZE:
2 chairs: one 3ft high; one 12ft high

LOCATION:
Toronto, Ontario

SECTOR:
Public Art Installation

SCOPE:
Concept, design & fabrication

DATE:
Completed 2019

Across the vast space of the new Globe and Mail Centre’s elegant lobby, two unoccupied chairs face each other; a record of a conversation concluded. As visitors walk down the length of the lobby, the actual difference in scale and location be­tween the chairs is revealed: one is small, the other enormous. While this is metaphor for our differences from one anoth­er, it is also a poignant reminder that the way in which we inhabit architectural space inherently changes our experience of it. The change of scale also forces a confrontation between art, form, and function; between people and buildings, and public and private space.

The Globe and Mail has been one of Canada’s prominent voices for generations, front and centre in the battle to keep the chasm of polarizing politics from becoming uncrossable. This is the conversation we are all engaged in: trying to find com­mon ground between our social, political, economic, spatial and geographic differences. Will we abandon it, or will we stay in the conversation? 

We’ve set ourselves the task of designing to bridge the gap; to be rational, buildable and pleasing at both a small and a large scale. Furniture is a medium of negotiation – it provides the connecting tissue between the scale and needs of people, and those of buildings. We need furniture to allow a building to meet our needs; it is the intermediary, the point of contact, and the receptacle for our bodies and ourselves.

Image: Ben Rahn / A-Frame 2019