The Pink Chair Project

For the past 3 Octobers, October being Breast Cancer awareness month, Suite NY has rallied designers and architects to put their individual design spins on a classic chair.  This year the Pink Jalk Project benefitting BCRF will auction off all these one of a kind GJ chair creations; see all the entries here.  You have until the end of the month to bid, if you like.  It's a rare opportunity to own an iconic Greta Jalk chair.


Sara Story's inspiration:
"Grete Jalk’s GJ Chair is a straightforward but complex form, simply two pieces of bent plywood. We decided to play up its form, lacquering it with a continuous pattern to represent a tough – but thin – skin, the metaphorical body armor with which women who suffer from cancer protect themselves. It can also represent the way in which the outer trappings that may ‘decorate’ our bodies also can give us confidence – like warriors who paint themselves with body paint, or women who make sure they look their best before going into a tough situation. In this instance, we can see the inside and the outside – the interior is a mirror image of what is happening on the outside, as if its insides were exposed.





Aerin Lauder's inspiration:
"What immediately struck me about this chair was its bold, modern design. While my aesthetic can be very modern, I’m also very classic in my approach. I chose to soften the clean lines of the chair with a lovely, braided jute - a personal favorite of mine. I feel this treatment is both strong and neutral, adding a gentle more natural element while allowing the chair to remain a beautiful statement piece in any room."






Darryl Carter's inspiration:
"As I studied the chair, I became profoundly aware of its perfection ‘as was.’ My instinct was to protect it.






Hariri & Hariri's inspiration for their chair:
"Our concept highlights women taking charge of their own bodies, their rights, and their health. We added corset-like leather straps over the iconic chair by Grete Jalk. Ironically it is a rebellion against bondage and submission of women. Making the corset as an under garment, inside out and exposing it on the top, is like revealing the epidemic of a tumor. The Pink leather straps also Band-Aid and are hope to hold our souls and bodies together while researching for the cure for cancer."






Amanda Nisbet's inspiration:
"Amanda saw a really beautiful finish that one of her designers brought to her attention, and then tracked down the workroom. She then decided to use it on this chair as it is new, interesting and very modern.
To further draw out the chairs architectural elements and add a little tension in its elegance , she chose two complimentary but opposite treatments. Glossy surfboard finish on the front and Macassar ebony veneer on the back and inside back, finished with small french railheads on the perimeter for a touch of texture and metal."








Emily Summer's inspiration for her chair:
"Emily Summers Design Associates (ESDA) sought to keep the elegant primary design of Greta Jalk’s GJ Chair and add a secondary decorative element that would tie the chair to the late founder of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), Evelyn H. Lauder, and the Lauder family. ESDA turned to one of the most beautiful decorative artists, Dagobert Peche (1887 – 1923 Austria), whose work is collected by the Lauder family (Mrs. Lauder’s brother- in-law, Ronald S. Lauder, opened the museum committed to early twentieth-century German and Austrian art) at Neue Gallery and was celebrated in a 2011 exhibit, Vienna 1900: Style and Identity. Evelyn Hausner (Lauder) was born in Vienna in 1936. This particular pattern is entitled Blumen and is interpreted in iconic pink and wrapped around the original walnut finish of the sculptural ribbon form.




The GJ chair was originally designed in 1963.  It is considered the Danish designer's best known work.  About 300 pieces went into limited production, only a few remain, which explains the high cost of the original.  The sculptural quality and complexity of the conjoined molded plywood is an example of Danish modern design at its best.  The chair is seeing a resurgence in popularity, therefore, reproductions have proliferated.  This Jalk chair and a nesting table will again take their places in the pantheon of classic design.  These just happen to be a little more decorative than most.


photos and quotes : Suite NY


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