Matteo Guarnaccia's socio-cultural project, Cross Cultural Chairs, at Base Milano brings together eight chairs from eight of the most populous countries including Brazil, India, Japan and China. The exhibition opens dialogue to raise some thoughts and pertinent questions to the surface for future generations of problem-solving designers. "A challenge to relate to their own culture by following a cultural archetype based on research, not trends," states designer Matteo Guarnaccia.
If you are sitting down while reading this you are probably in a western country (about 2.3 million people). On the other hand, if you are crossing your legs or squatting down you are probably on the eastern side of the world (4.4 million people). In India, the chair-sitting culture was introduced at the beginning of 1800, but up to date the majority of people still cook, eat and work sitting on the floor. The context of an object is what complete it in its use, and if there are many types of chairs is because there are many types of using it.
Human attitudes, behaviour and perceptions are shaped by their culture and its environment which is deeply embedded in all aspects of human life, including objects and the way in which they are used within their space. Probably a chair is one of the objects that relate most to humankind. This is not limited to its ergonomics, (how a chair would look like if your knees bend in the opposite direction?) but also socially. Cross Cultural Chairs is a research endeavour founded on social-cultural differences analyzed through chairs. Coming from the curiosity of chair making and the act of sitting down, CCC analyzes the cultural context of this object among eight of the most populated countries, over a period of eight months, establishing a triangular collaboration between a local design studio, their artisans and CCC.
About the designer:
Matteo Guarnaccia is a Sicilian designer based in Europe. After studying design in Barcelona, he built experience in Los Angeles and Madrid. While bouncing around artistic environments he took the opportunity to expand his visions and thoughts across a variety of artistic fields approaching photography, graphic design and video making. Numerous travel experiences helped Matteo in constructing a wider understanding of his surroundings. In holding a deep belief in the necessity for problem-solving, Matteo uses many different communication tools in order to bring solutions without fearing small beginnings as they eventually make a bigger difference and a wider impact.