What is a good chair?




Reichenschwand, 20.01.2016. On February 1, State Minister Dr. Markus Söder, together with the initiators Werner Löffler and Dr. Thomas Schriefers, will open the "Sitzpunkte" exhibition in the Heimatministerium [Folklore Museum] in Nuremberg. The exhibition will take place from 01.02.2016 to 12.02.2016 in Bankgasse 9 in Nuremberg. It will feature select exhibits from the Werner Löffler Collection as well as sketches and pictures which may provide insight into the question "What is a good chair?" – private, public, and institutional.

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Chairs are everywhere. They accompany us at home, at work, in the city, in the country, in public, in private, at any age and almost all situations. Even our public representatives sit on them – state representatives and presidents. They are citizens just like us and yet elected representatives of the people, imbued with responsibility, power, offices, and honours. But on what do they sit in the state and national parliaments? This question, too, is addressed in the exhibition 'Sitzpunkte – What is a good chair?' in the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance, State Development, and Homeland in Nuremberg.

An exhibit from the Werner Löffler Collection in Reichenschwand shows what representatives of the Deutscher Bundestag sat on in 1951 – together with a seat from the Bavarian State Parliament. They correspond with the throne of a West-African king, which brings up the question to what extent the chairs of government powers differ? This way, the exhibition also casts a spotlight on the special cultural background and traditions of sitting rituals. The transformation of connected conventions also massively changed our own standards over the last 100 years. Relaxed sitting postures which were still unthinkable around 1900 soon became en vogue. Mobility is tops now, sustainability a must, and healthy sitting advertised.

With this in mind, the exhibition asks about our fundamental needs and wishes for a utility object that is as close to us every day as few others. And when everyday sitting equipment becomes an admired star in a museum exhibit today, we start to wonder about its significance as utility and art form and its importance as a representative object.

So, what do we expect from a (good) chair?

This is the question the exhibition asks the employees of the Ministry and the visitors of the exhibition, which displays select original chairs as well as illustrative images which tell the story of the change of shape, views, and conventions.

The collector Werner Löffler is convinced that, especially considering the complexity of today's society, design is an important component in how we comprehensively shape our environment, which is also why we must demand from our designers that they develop responsible concepts and products. Löffler also collects in order to study the question what contribution design can make. Select exhibits permit a critical study of the standards of earlier designer generations, especially in consideration of the respective social and economic conditions. This is the goal of the Werner Löffler Collection which offers to promote an urgently necessary design debate. The collection pieces prove to be reliable witnesses of certain eras, the respective state of the cultural evolution, the technology, and the prevailing tastes. As resource for understanding design processes, the collection (for which a museum is planned) provides the suitable material for studying the significance of solution-oriented, responsible design of our living environment.

It is only natural that individual objects are sometimes also put on a pedestal by themselves in this exhibition. However, they always correspond to other exhibits. This corresponds to the view of the collector and the concept for a museum of dialog which Werner Löffler is currently planning as home for his sedentary treasures.

Find out more about opening times and information about the Werner Löffler Collection

There is also a printable PDF file here: PDF

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