Share a Chair

> PROGRAM : multifunction pavilion for GAT Grand Opening
> LOCATION : Ethiopia, Amhara, Gondar, 12°36″23’N 37°28″05’E
> NGO : Gondar Art Tank
> LOCAL PARTNER : citizens
> AREA : variable
> PROGRESS : on going


In January 2018, the « MASH [ebsh] UP » Festival will stand for three day-event of collaborative workshops and seminar featuring Ethiopian and international participants. It is a part of the Grand Opening of the Gondar Art Tank artistic residency in Gondar city, Ethiopia, inside the enclosure of the Ras Ghimb (a historical 18th century castle). For the event, the « Share a Chair » pavilion has been imagined as a sculptural landmark in the landscape of the Ras as well as multi-functional « spaces » for the different activities proposed by the program.

The specifications for the pavilion were very precise : as cheap as possible, quickly mountable and dismountable, easily transportable, multi-functional, necessarily done by citizens couple days before the Opening as a participative project for the local communities.

C:UsersteddyDesktoppavillon GATCADethiopian chair 3 Model


How to create a pavilion that can handle all these requirements ? The traditional Ethiopian chair has been the starting point of thought. First of all, we imagined a piece of furniture that can have the function of chair by itself and other functions when several pieces would be assembled together. 3 main functions have been elaborated : a group of chairs that 1 to 4 people can use for limited audience ; a circular shape space that can be shared for seminaries ; a music stage used by local and guest artists for the night time events.

C:UsersteddyDesktoppavillon GATCADmasterplan Model (1)

The « C » shape of the chair combines in the same time a sitting part, a chair back and a canopy in order to create a feeling of space even if each piece is dispersed in the landscape.



The second important decision has been the main material chosen. What can be used for a short time, that doesn’t required much transformation, easily findable in big quantity at a very fair price and that answers the thematic « mash up » of the Festival ? The beer case obviously ! It is a daily goods that can be found and borrowed everywhere. Beer cases are, in fact, big bricks ! And as bricks, they are easily connectable together to create vertical or horizontal structure for a construction.

C:UsersteddyDesktoppavillon GATCADmodule beer case PLANS MEASILY BUILDABLE

We designed 10 chairs. Each of them required 17 beer cases so a total of 170 is necessary. They are connected together by plastic clamping collars. This allows anybody without particular skill to do it in a very short time process. The horizontal part is obtained by a simple cable preloading connected to the vertical body and sitting area. The « C » shape is then covered by a white fabric sock in order to create the necessary transparency during day time ( with shadow and sunlight ) and night time ( with a simple system of internal lighting ). 2 wooden boards complete the stability of the chair and the comfort for users.