Takeshi Miyakawa’s Holey Chair

Designer Takeshi Miyakawa sort of took the long way around to a career in product design. After studying architecture at Tokyo Science University, he did four years hard time as a construction supervisor before re-locating to NYC where he eventually settled in at Rafael Vinoly Architects. His primary responsibility therein? Why, model maker of course, conceiving and constructing miniaturized versions of large-scale architectural endeavors.

Holey Chair. Designed by Takeshi Miyakawa.

Miyakawa made the most of what some might consider a tedious endeavor: “model making in the shop is not just to fabricate a miniature version of a building, but rather an abstract expression of architecture.” The enlightened attitude and multi-faceted experience have served him well. In 2000, he founded Takeshi Miyakawa Design, the Brooklyn-based studio where he creates tables, chairs, storage systems, and art/design installations–all of which evince his extensive tutelage in building, craftsmanship, and imaginative projection. Miyakawa’s most recent offering, the Holey Chair for Voos Furniture, is a case in point.

Takeshi Miyakawa’s Holey Chair

The new chair deftly toes the line between art and design, between light fixture and furnishing, between an in-your-face display of guerilla art (in fact, I’m reminded of Brookly neighbor Chris Rucker‘s suspended plywood chairs) and an ironic manifesto about the constant quest for functionality. So what exactly is the Holey Chair? A wall lamp in the shape of a desk chair? A simple place to sit made of phosphorescent LEDs? Or something in between? Made of translucent acrylic, studded with interior LEDs, and powered with the assistance of 120V, Holey nevertheless looks like a chair. But the mode in which it’s displayed has got me wondering whether it bears any weight. The piece can be free-standing or mounted to your heart’s absurdist delight. From the looks of Miyakawa’s choices–a crumbling brick wall, a lamp on a desolate city street–the man’s got an ironic streak a mile wide and 15 feet high (which appears to be Holey’s preferred height). I suppose the logical supposition to make from all this is that, indeed, Holey is not meant to bear the full brunt of an adult person’s mass, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if it did? I, for one, would love to see a suitable human (or fictional) specimen enjoying such Holey light from these rarefied heights–Willy Wonka, the Mad Hatter, or, perhaps, Oscar Wilde? Any one would do nicely.

If you missed the Holey Chair last Monday at Sportsmax, don’t despair. It’s presently making a reprise at Voos’ Dreamers Exhibition through May 23.

Leave a Reply