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Quilt Furniture (Works)


An early observation we made, after moving to the US, was the apparent robustness with which vehicles such as train cars, food trucks and semi-trailers are manufactured. The common material – polished stainless steel – speaks of an ideal of progress through manufacture that now feels nostalgic, and yet many of these objects make up an image of “typical” American design. There is a particular form of steel sheet called rigidized stainless steel which has a diamond pattern pressed into it. This seems to be peculiarly American, and curiously manages to suggest softness in a cold, hard material.

To coincide with the opening of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago exhibitions Pop Art Design and The Street, The Store and The Silver Screen, we were commissioned to design a furniture installation that would acknowledge the themes of the shows. Taking reference from pop art – a trope of which was the co-opting of imagery and objects from popular culture – we created Quilt benches and tables, a homage to an everyday material and the fabricators who use it.