Tomorrow, Friday, August 17th, if you’re in Manila, Philippines, you should go to the Dimensione building in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, and see the WONDER PUPPY EXHIBIT. In an event sponsored by Secret Fresh, Dimensione and Magis Designs, several Filipino designers were invited to re-make the classic Italian Magis Puppy Chair by Finnish designer, Eero Aarnio. However, if today, you happen to peer through the Ronac Art Center‘s Daft Punk-inspired windows into the office of the building’s architects, Jagnus Design Studio, you’d get a pre-show look at their sustainable take on the iconic plastic Puppy Chair. But more on that in a bit!
The Magis Puppy Chair is kind of like the Jeff Koons Balloon Dog of whimsical designer plasticine furnishings. Aarnio, who lives in Finland, designed the stool as part of his children’s collection in 2003. However, as readers of this blog have always known, youth culture and hip adulthood share the same grey area as genius and insanity. So it comes as no surprise that Fab.com‘s founder Bradford Shellhammer (below) is fond of the Puppy Chairs (which were also featured on Fab this week).
Magis, the company that produced the popular chair, is located in Italy. They’ve ask artists, designers and architects to customize the Puppy Chair, resulting in shows in Singapore in 2007-2008 (below) and Bangkok earlier this year.
Currently, Filipino designers are unleashing their ideas upon the Puppy Chair canvas in an event sponsored by Magis, Secret Fresh and Dimensione Fort Bonifacio in Manila. The WONDER PUPPY EXHIBIT opens tomorrow at 5PM and includes chairs by Jagnus Design Studio, Whoopie Wonka, Nemo Aguila, Tripp Sixtythree, Farley Del Rosario, Mimi Tecson, Wesley Valenzuela and Electrolychee.
My friend, innovative architect, Arnold Austria, (who created Bototoy and is the subject of my next Toys by Design column), sent over these awesome photos of his piece, STRAY, created in conjunction with Jagnus Design Studio, for the show. Here’s Austria explaining their piece:
STRAY means to deviate, wander or roam from the direct course or go beyond the proper limits. Like a lost dog, we aptly named our entry STRAY, to express our idea for the exhibition and the ideals of our office. All entries must use the original Magis design as the basis of the final customized model. We took it a little further and instead, used the base object’s geometry and dimensions to accomplish our goal.
Being the only architecture studio among other participants composed of painters and graffiti artists, we decided to reinterpret Aarnio’s design through carpentry, an expression more familiar to our discipline. The design is executed by deconstructing the original form into 40 planar pieces and assembling them like a three dimensional puzzle.
Gmelina or White Teak is the wood we selected. In the Philippines, Gmelina is commonly used for furniture, cabinetry, mouldings and wood sculptures, particularly for religious statues because it is fairly easy to carve. Its stable supply and abundance makes this material sustainable and inexpensive to use. With our technical skills in drawing combined with a little imagination and the use of fine natural material, our studio was able to reinterpret Eero Aarnio’s iconic creation in a manner that compliments our design principles.
Click through for more shots of the beautiful art chair!