Curated by interior designer Max Radford, @m_r.a.a.d is a veritable treasure trove of interiors inspiration, celebrating the best of 20th century design with a particular focus on extraordinary furniture of the period. Eclectic pieces spanning a breath of aesthetic schools come together to form a very particular point of view, indicative of Radford’s own varied tastes. While the account includes images of diverse domestic spaces, it is the edit of chairs that is the real standout. Forged in metal, comprised of layered felt, cut from stone, or moulded from recycled plastics, these eccentric proposals for seating are a joy to peruse.
Among the recent highlights posted is an unusual chair created by Australian designer and furniture maker Christopher Robertson in 1987. Inspired by his native Western Australia, noted for its biodiversity, unique species of eucalypts, and numerous vast salt lakes, Robertson credits the landscape as a profound influence on his practice. He completed a Masters Degree in Furniture Design at the prestigious Royal College of Art London under Professor Floris van den Broecke in 1986. Appearing to have been dissected and then re-joined, this curious asymmetric work, conceived shortly after his graduation, comprises a sleek wooden backrest and footrest, alongside a seat upholstered in a natural textile, elegantly tethered by connecting black poles.
Elsewhere, discover the work of Italian sculptor and designer Andrea Salvetti. Salvetti’s impressive Tondo Chair, produced in 1997, appears like a formidable ram, rendered in tarnished silver, with furled horns and a powerful stance. Born in Bozzano Lucca in 1967, he studied architecture at the University of Florence under fellow artisan Guido Cristofani. Salvetti began his on-going collaboration with Dilmos Milano in 1996 with an exhibition of his aluminium-cast chair-sculpture collection at Salone del Mobile. Salvetti is known for designs and furniture-sculptures inspired by the wonder of the natural world, often cast in aluminium and bronze. He also explores the interaction between food and art, at times with interactive, edible sculptures.
Further back is a gem conceived by British designer John Makepeace, the Knot Chair. Makepeace first saw furniture being made when he was eleven, and later visited the great cabinetmakers in Copenhagen as a teenager. Design and craftsmanship came naturally to him, and he went onto be a founding member of the Crafts Council in the UK. Designed for The Tennis House in the US, a short distance from the shores of Lake Michigan, the concept of the Knot Chair started from the principle that comfort derives from profiles that give firm bodily support in the right places rather than cushioning. This was achieved with carefully sculptured cushions of burr elm, “knotted” to frames of laminated oak.
A final standout is the Margarita Chair, designed in 1971 by painter Roberto Matta. This inimitable throne was produced by Dino Gavina, under Matta’s direction, in a limited edition, formed by lost wax casting a modified found object. Matta was born in Santiago, Chile, and became celebrated for his fantastical paintings of peculiar spaces. Matta completed an architecture degree at the Catholic University in Santiago in 1931 and moved to Paris to work for the influential architect Le Corbusier. His friendships with the avant-garde in various centres of Europe, from Gertrude Stein and Marcel Duchamp to Walter Gropius and Salvador Dalí, stimulated his interest in the Surrealist movement, which he became closely aligned with.
Words by Keshav Anand / Feature image: Danny Lane, Etruscan Chair, 1984 (via Pinterest)