Formica International Exhibition: Michael Graves, J Chair 2008

Next is Michael Graves, one of the founding theorists of postmodern architecture & product design. His style blends classical style with allusions and whimsy. He brought good product design to the elite, like Alessi with his iconic teapot; and as well as to the masses with everyday design for the style mass marketer in the US called Target.

Mr. Graves global projects include breakthrough architectural design with the Humana Tower in Louisville; his ‘Three on the Bund’ Shanghai wins Hong Kong Design Center “Best Design from Greater China” in 2006, and presently his team is working on Resorts World on Sentosa Island, Singapore.

Mr. Graves dedicated the chair to his good friend Jay Chatterjee, the honoree of the CAC event and named it “J Chair.” The concept was that since he was designing with Formica materials which are flat, he wanted to translate the material to the componants to make the chair easy to ship flat and reconstruct by just snapping together the tabs and holding the entire structure with pegs. Mr. Graves selected Spectrum Blue ColorCore2 and Formica Veneer in Indian Ebony.

The finished piece looks as animated and whimsical as the drawings. Mr. Graves is a great product designer, so his solution was practical and ergonomic. Due to an illness, he is now in a wheel chair and thinks about the practical aspect of sitting. He designed a swivel table that allows easy access for writing or working on a laptop. Mr. Graves piece sold for $25,000 for a limited edition of 4, but has the potential to sell millions of copies for $299.99 US.

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