Maharam is one of twenty creative entities invited to participate in this year’s Pink Project, which is now in its third installment. Each year, SUITE New York selects an iconic modernist chair to be reimagined by contemporary designers. These one-of-a-kind chairs are then auctioned off through the month of October via charitybuzz.com, with proceeds benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
This year’s Pink Project, entitled Pink Jalk, is based on Danish designer Grete Jalk’s iconic 1963 Laminated Chair, which was recently reissued by Lange Production as the GJ Chair. For the Pink Jalk Project, Maharam, which counts one of the few remaining original Laminated Chairs among its corporate collection of applied and decorative arts, chose to respect and accentuate the essential simplicity of this iconic sculptural form. Using Jalk’s original material of choice, Oregon pine, as a point of departure, the Maharam Design Studio selected complementary materials of similar elemental character, including fine gaucho leather and hand-felted wool, to fashion slim layered pads unobtrusively attached to the chair back and seat.
Corresponding to the form and contours of the chair, these pads are constructed of multiple layers of felt from Lodenwalker, a 500-year-old artisanal Austrian felt maker. Maharam’s longtime collaborator, Dutch designer Hella Jongerius, transformed the surface layer of this felt into one-off prototypical panels using a signature needle-punch technique first applied to her highly collectible Sampler Blankets created for an exhibition at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in 2004. Gaucho leather, accented with brass hardware, was provided by John Lobb of London, among the world’s esteemed producers of bespoke footwear.