Musical chairs

There is something tremendously inherent to childhood in a musical chairs’ party, yet the game also stands as a foretaste of the highly competitive and selective adults’ world.

The reinterpretation of the popular musical chairs game by itinerant Swedish designer Bobby Petersen led to a completely different perspective. Embracing music and participatory design, in 2011 Petersen displayed a circle of a dozen of chairs in one of the halls of the Victoria and Albert Museum (London, England). Each chair was built following Italian designer Enzo Mari’s DIY principles [1] and was equipped with a sensor that emitted a melody when a visitor sat on it. With the aim of creating a connection among people through music, the interactive installation encouraged participants to “listen” to each other's movements and compose an “ever-changing musical piece” together - thus turning a competition-driven game into a harmonious collaboration.

1_Peterson's installation at the V&A (London, 2011);

[1] Written in 1974, Enzo Mari’s Autoprogettazione is a precursory DIY manual compiling nineteen open-source designs such as tables and chairs;

Published: 20 Mar. 2017

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