In between hours spent helping design custom yachts and a current gig designing a space station, French industrial designer Edouard Chambellan relaxed himself by finding images of chairs on the internet. Chembellan, who is currently based in San Francisco, searched for chairs across all languages and all countries, whether they were hand-made, made by fashion brands, ugly, beautiful, and so on. This oddly relaxing hobby ultimately resulted in Seatporn, a website where visitors can look at one chair per second for 24 hours. Made in collaboration with Matthieu Plantrou, Chambellan's Seatporn launched a week ago, after a full five years of work. As these vanishing resin chairs and Le Corbuiser's famous LC4 chair recently reminded us, this type of furniture can be a work of art, but Chambellan takes the object fetishism to a whole new level.
"It acts like a clock so you have very few chances to see the exact same image," Chambellan tells Creators. "I wanted this experiment to be a free tool for designers, interiors decorators, schools, museums, and every person interested actually. Compared to other websites and Google Image searches, this incredible hand-made selection of chair pictures will refresh every mind as it is no longer linked to specific keywords."
Chambellan, who collaborated for the past eight years with French designer Philippe Starck on yachts that included Steve Jobs' Venus and Andrey Melnichenko's Sailing Yacht A (the world's largest sailboat), runs an Instagram page also called Seatporn. It focuses on chairs as well, featuring photographs of chairs that Chambellan has come across over the years.
"It's a kind of meditation process—a brainwash," says Chambellan. "As an industrial designer, after 7,000 chairs you start seeing them as connection points to individuals living on Earth and spending their time customising their old chair, designing it, making mockups, producing it, storing it in unknown warehouses where they may be never sold."
To create the Seatporn website, Chambellan enlisted the help of a German coder, who developed custom software to aid in collecting the images. But, Chambellan notes, each image was selected one-by-one to avoid double images, which took ages.
"The website acts as a clock, so instead of having numbers changing every second, you make chairs appearing," says Chambellan. "We are also planning 24-hour events worldwide, with an immersive installation, talks from experts, live local music and a very good mood."
When Chambellan isn't focusing on Seatporn, he is currently helping design living space for life onboard a space station. The project is pretty all-encompassing, with he and others focusing on user experience, circulation, optimizing daily maintenance access, as well as working on weight saving, all in an effort to achieve the best interior feeling aboard the space station. And if Chambellan has anything to say about it, this space station will have a good chair situation.
Click here to see more of Edouard Chambellan's work.