RE-ISSUE, RE-IMAGINE, RE-MAKE
Lund Humphries, 2020
In recent years, there has been a great deal of interest in ‘design classics’, both in their increased availability and affordability through re-issues, and in their widespread re-interpretation by contemporary designers and artists. Focusing on chairs, this book examines this significant aspect of contemporary design practice. It does so, not only in terms of works by well-known designers, but also relative to ubiquitous designs such as the monobloc, Thonet number 14, and Ming chairs. These varied examples of re-imagining and re-working are examined from an international perspective as designers and artists across the globe seek to bring new formal, material, and narrative interpretations to these iconic designs.
Renewed interest in do-it-yourself, together with the growth of hacking, open-source design and digital fabrication, have all contributed to an expansion of the concepts of re-imagine and re-make in the new millennium. Embraced by professionals, amateurs and companies alike, these developments further attest to the diverse practice of re-interpretation in contemporary design.
Bringing together key examples of the re-issuing, re-imagining and re-making of design icons, the book draws on observations from designers, artists and manufacturers in order to understand the varied motivations behind these activities. It places the works within their historical and cultural context, and considers the boundaries between art and design. Further, the book interrogates the issues of authenticity and authorship and the ethical and legal rights to copy and to alter iconic objects that are raised by these re-interpretations.