Last fall, as furniture designer Lucas Maassen prepared to showcase his collection at Dutch Design Week, he decided to shake things up. Instead of the same-old display of wares, Maassen would create a sitcom starring his new line (including furniture painted by his young sons.)
Aptly named The Sitcom!, Maassen’s idea was to liven up the banality of a design exhibition. So he set about displaying his work in a completely different way, placing it within the stereotypical confines of a sitcom set. Equipped with screens to project the mouths of talking actors, his chairs–which have removable legs so they can “sit”–are the characters, dealing with romance, kids, and family squabbles in a 20-minute pilot filmed in front of a live studio audience, with props made by other designers.
“After a while, the whole sitcom becomes a sort of set, because the main characters are sort of props in their own story,” he explains. In the end, it becomes just an exhibition of products–albeit ones that spout lines like “all men are such hotdogs.”
The result is an absurd, unexpectedly chuckle-worthy piece of art that questions both comedy and design, asking not only whether chairs can be funny, but whether our surroundings are truly inanimate. Not a bad way to sell some furniture!
Keep a lookout for the forthcoming DVD.