De-Evolution Chairs by Brad Ascalon

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“‘De-Evolution’ is largely a critique of the US in its decline both politically and morally, but at the same time, it is an homage to the country’s underlying beauty and spirit. In essence, many feel that the US is nearing its end as a global empire, following many of the same patterns that history’s past global empires have followed. This notion is represented by a series of upholstered chairs that appear to melt, or de-evolve, before the viewer’s eyes. Where the gaps and deterioration begin to occur, however, the fabric remains beautifully intact, following the broken-down forms in their entirety. This is meant to represent that although we’re not perfect, although we’re a nation that to me is losing its way, it is still a beautiful place, a country with beautiful ideas. Through all of its faults, its tensions, its brokenness, we learn to live within and among it all, and we make it home. We accept it despite all of its imperfections. This is similar to the Japanese notion of wabi-sabi.

DEDAR’s involvement has been crucial in this project, and the use of their ‘Amoire Libre’ line of fabrics is extremely fitting for the concept. DEDAR’s Amoire Libre line of fabrics is created in an improvisational manner by a master craftsman. By hand, the craftsman pushes, pulls and otherwise moves the fabric to determine its pattern. While the spirit of the fabric is constant, its appearance is not. The fabric is perfect because of, not despite, its imperfections.

Lastly, the declining scale from one chair to the next was used deliberately as a subtle reference to the Russian nesting doll, or the Matryoshka. It is a simple symbol of gratitude for my hosts and my host country for allowing me to single-handedly represent the United States through my work as a designer”. bradascalon.com

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