Combining the shape of the chair, designed in peacetime, with the wartime camouflage net, the exhibition puts the viewer's focus on how design has acquired new meanings and functions
Gropius Low Chair: Military Edition was initially part of the exhibition Ukraine: Design for Real Time, held during Barcelona Design Week. The exhibition illustrated two periods of Ukrainian design, before and after February 24, and how the essence and principle of designs remain, even in tense situations. The chair illustrates a design framework pre-dating the invasion with a camouflage covering, reflecting the recent history it has been through.
The camoflage was produced at VinnSolard a center where, from the earliest days of the war, people of various professions worked on camo nets, united by a single goal - victory. Among those who joined the volunteering were Latayko Antonina, art director and Bakulina Nataliya, producer and former editor of ELLE Decoration Ukraine. Antonina and Nataliya worked with Kateryna Sokolova, designer of the Gropius chair to combine the peacetime design of the chair with the wartime camouflage. Says Sokolova: "For every Ukrainian, the world, regardless of his age and profession, is divided into "Before" and "After", and design has acquired new meanings and functions”.
From the Vinnsolard centre in Vinnytsia, the camoflage was transferred to production in Kyiv, where it was stretched on a chair over fabric upholstery. The chair then went to the office of the famous Kyiv architectural bureau, which became a volunteer center. In this exhibition, the chair will be on view, along with information about its recent history and the design decisions that went into its production.