Among the more interesting events taking place in Milan next week is a design forum on the subject of repairing designer furniture.
Taking Platform 21s “Repair Manifesto” as its starting point the forum sets out to ask if one should repair designer furniture, where are the pros, where are the cons and in how far repairing a piece of furniture alters the owners relationship with the piece.
There is of course repairing and repairing.
As the Manifesto correctly points out designers should create furniture that can be repaired, as is for example the fall with, for example, the aluminium and plastic series by Charles and Ray Eames through Vitra or Alberto Meda’s office chairs. With all these products if a cover, or a spring or a support is broken licensed dealers such as smow can provide spare parts and there are Vitra trained technicians worldwide who are qualified in fitting the new parts. Not a problem
But what do I do when an arm on my Louis ghost chair is broken? Glue it back on. Will that really, as per Article 7, help me discover how my chair works? Or should I just avoid buying works from Phillipe Starck and/or Kartell simply because they are difficult to repair? I don’t think so.
We are also interested by Article 9’s claim that even a fake can become original through being repaired. On the one hand, we’re not sure if such doesn’t encourage the purchasing of fakes; however, on the other we knew that our “new” Moormann Siebenschläfer bed was a “new” original.
In principle we find the idea of recycling designer furniture excellent. A well designed, and well made original should last a lifetime: and simply because it is damaged is no ground to dispose of it. And so we are looking forward to the forum and the discussion.