Mr. Plastic himself, Karim Rashid, talks chairs in the May 2007 issue of Dwell. I’ve been meaning to feature the piece here for a while as I just love the idea of designers evaluating and grading their peers’ work. In this instance Dwell asked Rashid to evaluate 5 plastic chairs and then the Dwell editorial staff also weighs in on each Three of the five chairs featured in the review are in DWR’s collection: Jerszy Seymour’s Easy Chair, Vitra’s Verner Panton chair and the Heller-produced and Mario Bellini-designed ArcoBellini. The fourth chair is Ross Lovegrove’s fabulous Supernatural chair (pictured above) for the venerable and ambitious Italian brand Moroso. The fifth chair is the La Marie chair from Kartell designed by Philippe Starck.
What I love about Karim’s assessment is his total honesty. He respects the other designers work there’s no doubt. But he also points out what he finds wrong with the chairs: hard edges on the Arco, the Panton chair’s dated look and the tendency of the polypropylene Easy chair to get dirty. I’d love some of these designers, the ones alive that is, to take on Rashid’s designs in a thoughtful critique. Or better yet, maybe these frank conversations of design could lead to something even more exciting: a collaboration.