cepezed designs multifunctional charity chair

cepezed has lent a remarkable extra function to Matthias Weber's ONO-chair. The office did this as a contribution to the Charity Chair project of German architecture magazine AIT and the Swiss furniture producer Dieteker, who asked over a hundred architects to give the ONO a new appearance. Eventually, the chairs will be auctioned for the benefit of the South African Township Langa in Cape Town, for which the coming of the Soccer World Cup this summer has far from only positive effects.

A Dietiker design chair and the Langa township in South Africa are entities that are both literally and metaphorically worlds apart. The people of Langa are cramped into small, low quality housing and most certainly do not sit on design chairs. On the other hand, it can safely be assumed that the plausible users of the ONO chair live under far better standards and most likely don't even know of Langa's existence. The retail price of one ONO-chair can probably support a Langa-based family for quite some time.

Participating in the Charity Chair project, cepezed has therefore intended to somehow connect design and the South African townships. Given that the chair had to remain a chair, cepezed has also sought not to change the design, which is perfectly alright in itself already, but rather to add something to it. Thus, the office reflected on the chair as an object with a certain model, shape and weight and was on the lookout for an extra use other than sitting. The result is a design that can be used for transport as well.

The cepezed-design has transformed Weber's ONO Chair into an object that can be used at home, during travel and in the market place. Aside from its regular domestic use, the chair can be flipped and geared as if were a back-pack, thus enabling the user to transport goods in the bag between the legs of the chair. In the market place, the user can sit on the chair again while selling his goods. This way a local Langa user could also profit from the economic incentives brought about by a large event such as the Word Football Championship, for instance by selling food and beverages from his Charity Chair. Hence, cepezed would like potential auction bidders to consider donating the chair itself to Langa as well.

The original chair has been left completely intact. Only some attachment points for the detachable straps and bag have been added. The straps are made of recycled safety belts, while the waterproof bag is put together from a used advertisement canvas of the Dutch international banking institution ING. The word ‘bank' on the side also means ‘couch' in Dutch, thus unwittingly constituting a little pun with its use on a chair. The bottom of the bag reads ‘grenzeloos', meaning ‘unlimited'. Using this Charity Chair will of course not render possibilities boundless, but its user can certainly start pushing back frontiers!