The music of chairs

Patrick Healy

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    The 1840 essay of Edgar Allen Poe “The Philosophy of Furniture” remains one of the most provocative essays written on interior decoration, and it has variously been read as ironic, ambivalent, and in some cases simply polemical; an essay wherein Poe vents his spleen on the jejune and tasteless productions of the contemporary American interior decoration.1 The tone of the writing is swingeing, taking the view that American taste is a play ground for the parvenu rivalry of the ‘aristocracy of dollars’ and inevitably confuses display with affect. The sole test of merit, in such a scheme, of any decorative item, or an ensemble decoration of a room, is its cost.seem to fascinate many architects and designers. They are amongst the most essential pieces of furniture, and directly correspond to the human body. In addition, chairs are also objects with a long and interesting tradition. A great number of architects and designers have explored the material, tectonic or sculptural possibilities of these pieces of furniture.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOff the shelf
    Subtitle of host publicationProjects surrounding the chair collection at the faculty of Architecture
    EditorsCharlotte van Wijk
    PublisherTU Delft OPEN
    ISBN (Electronic)978-94-92516-69-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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