Grasslands Project ‘CHAIR’ from Denmark

Grasslands Project ‘CHAIR’ from Denmark

Photo courtesy of Grasslands Project ‘CHAIR’

 

The ‘CHAIR’ project… gathers together furniture craftspeople, artists, designers, architects and citizens in an experimental attempt to rethink and upcycle chairs and furniture. 

 

The idea for this initiative… came after a five-year long process with participatory art projects in a rural area. Two visual artists followed up on the request by local citizens to seek ways to create job opportunities and boost the cultural offering in order to attract young inhabitants and tourists. When they researched the area, they found that in the past it had been the seat of a furniture factories cluster of up to 70 enterprises! The cross-sector innovation project was based on this impressive cultural heritage. 

 

Innovations and Inspirational Know-how:

The project held workshops in public schools, including workshops in green wood technology.

A public event was organised around collecting chairs and histories and a “Chair fair” in a medieval castle.

There was an international symposium in September 2019 with artists from Denmark, UK, the Netherlands and Japan. 

The chairs created, were subsequently presented in three museums and will be exhibited in Japan. 

 

Grasslands Project ‘CHAIR’ from Denmark

Photo courtesy of Grasslands Project ‘CHAIR’

 

Challenges… Transforming the perspectives of local stakeholders in central Jutland with little experience of cooperating with artists and other professionals. 

Persuading the municipality to support this initiative financially and also in an advisory manner. (Lesson learnt: Involve the local authorities at an early stage!) 

Raising money for an experimental project going across different sectors.

 

Meeting the Challenges… First and foremost, it’s all about being a good communicator and listener, liking the people you meet and work with, meeting them with kindness and patience! 

Putting in great effort and a lot of time into the task. 

It is very important to have a strong, broad network and gifted, renowned professionals onside. 

Disseminating information on all platforms to all partners* is essential, though time consuming. 

 

Impacts: 

Seeing the project generating results and ‘CHAIR’ getting attention from the media and the outside world won over doubtful local stakeholders who eventually embraced the process.

‘CHAIR’ went on to attract a variety of funds: state, region, municipality and banks. 

 

The key goals are… to create a development laboratory for art, design and craft and establish a platform for furniture development and innovation.

Hold courses and workshops.

Create a tight network between: artists, architects, designers, local schools, craftsmen, museums, factories, and local municipality as well as cross regional and international partners. 

And… to produce unique chairs, of course!

 

Grasslands Project ‘CHAIR’ from Denmark

Photo courtesy of Grasslands Project ‘CHAIR’

 

And going forward? Future plans were put on hold due to Covid 19, but include a market analysis, research the production viability of the prototypes, work towards establishing a running workshop at a local carpenter’s, and a cross-sectoral platform for developing and innovating furniture in the area.

Partners include the business development department and the cultural department of Skive municipality, the Wood Museum in the area Salling, the furniture factory Magnus Olesen, also in the area, the Danish museum for Industry in Horsens, Skive technical College, Designer Søren Vester, carpenter and shipbuilder Andreas Svane, Upholsterer Jytte Jakobsen, Architect Kaette bønløkke, Architect Lars Frank Nielsen.

 

Further Information:

www.grasslands.dk

www.facebook.com/forsamling

 

Lene Noer

Visual Artist & Curator

Leader of CHAIR Project

   

 

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