Brickchair by Pepe Heykoop



Dutch designer Pepe Heykoop has created a chair from childrens' toy building blocks.


The chair was inspired by an illustration called All The Chairs I Sat On, by Los Angeles artist James Gulliver Hancock (above left). Heykoop enlarged the sketch in the top left corner and coloured it in.


Pepe Heykoop was the winner of the recent [d3] contest at IMM Cologne 2009 - see our earlier story.


Here's some information from the designer:


The Brickchair was made after seeing an illustration by James Gulliver Hancock. I loved the image immediately and the chair in the left corner caught my eye. I coloured the image in and started constructing the Brickchair. It is the interpretation of a drawing that was already an interpretation of an existing chair. It transformed. This interpretation led to this new object because we saw different things in the same image! After the Brickchair I created a Brickchandelier, which can be seen on my site.

Posted on Friday February 20th 2009 at 5:27 pm by Rachael Sykes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Joe

    Umm, I don’t think you can actually sit in this thing. Is this a joke? If not I have a couple very talented ‘designers’ who are at their daycare right now.

  • Nice, that winning combination of ugly and uncomfortable.

  • here’s to having fun and creating with your heart.

  • m

    design by the unlikely combination of know elements
    I’m sorry pepe … It’s just another variation of the trick
    and the trick is growing old
    even dangerously kitchy

    still, I have to say it is interesting to see how the visual language in fact works quite strongly.

  • Yes please! ill offer 6000 euro´s!
    WTF is he thinking! He should ask himself one question.
    What are Limited Edition pieces really created for?
    Just a money Junkey who is lifting on the whole hype.

    QUALITY will preserve through time!!!!!!!!!!

  • Darren


  • Jeremiah

    While I understand where the previous comments come from, they make me painfully aware of how close minded some people are. Sure, design is about the marriage of function and form, not one or the other, but is this really a “chair”. It was developed as a unique and individual exercise, not to make a chair, but to bring what the designer saw in the drawing into the third dimension. Sure it is playful, artistic, and, as a chair, utterly impractical, but its function isn’t the same as that of a chair despite its form. I doubt it was never intended to function as a place to sit, but rather as the 3 dimensional realization of the two dimensional art world. Is it sculpture? Sure, but it reaches beyond the emotionally provocative world of art and becomes a form that incites discussion about design, about parts becoming a whole beyond the sum of their respective parts. If it only serves as a point of discussion, an element of design discourse, its function has been served quite beautifully by its form. Does function really need to be as pragmatic as a place for sitting? Sure designers love to create interesting solutions to the “problem” of sitting, but it doesn’t hurt for the function of design to sometimes reach beyond that and become about form, about what form says and how we look at the world in which we live, in which we design.

  • clayton

    … looks comfortable

  • Eugene

    This is what is known as image, as opposed to “imaging”

    See: James Corner, landskip vs landschaft

  • tc

    makes the favela chair look like a chesterfield.

  • zuy

    EINDHOVEN please see your link

  • manifesto_sg

    Very original work indeed ! Well done ! Having said that, there is consideration for the practical side of it which I think can be resolved by having a “cushion” seat which will help to reduce the uncomfortable aspect of it.

  • W

    Jeremiah what point are you actually making..try and wittle it down to 10 words

  • slaphappypappy

    news just in….dutch design is over

  • Jeremiah – I’m all for ‘art furniture’; if this is going to sit in the corner of some museum then yeah, I get it. But we’re talking about two different things then: art furniture is not furniture. Real furniture is functional art. This does not fulfill it’s function.

  • I believe that dutch design has had a tremendous influence on design, I believe that it actually acted as a confirmation and as a closing argument to postmodernism.

    Unfortunately, I believe that “dutch design” and I mean that as we have become accustomed with, has extenuated its creative resources. New graduated from Eindhoven seem to be rehashing boring, predictable, and just plain ridiculous stereotypes.

    The chair presented by Heykoop represents just that. I do not see an inch of creativity in this project, and would refuse to even label this as design/art, there are extremely talented design artists such as max lamb and Martino Gamper, and would not dare to put this ridiculously boring project in the same category as the latter. Subsequently, as strange as it seems, design artists still achieve to induce a sense of functionality to their pieces. This on the other hand does not.

    This project exemplifies the fact that some areas of design are in desperate need
    of an overhaul, and that in no way, possessing a hot glue gun, a bunch of wooden blocks and a boring “heard this story in first year design school”, makes someone a designer.

    Get real people, this is neither design or art, just a waste of materials.

  • Jeremiah

    @ ‘W’ and “Christopher, what I am saying (the abridged version) is – sometimes the function is not what it seems to be on the surface. Sometimes a chair is a chair, and sometimes it isn’t.

  • Jeremiah

    p.s. I’m not actually trying to argue that this is good, bad, or otherwise. Subjective statements like that, especially about pieces like this, really don’t create worthwhile discussion. Perhaps Dezeen isn’t the place for anything beyond subjective judgment. You tell me.


    Visually nice (not much more differently than the illustratio)
    but conceptually its very weak.

    This should have been the very first conceptual try out in the whole process of this projects. Definitely not the end result. With a lot more work and creativity it could become someting.

    Good luck


    ps: you should have made an animation how illustration was transformed into 3d……because the viewer (instead of the user) does not get any inside why you made certain choices. In ways of using the blocks and glue and why you did not make a soft seat as shown in the illustration. seems like stitches to me ????

  • JL

    Why is the comfort of this chair even being discussed? It is a piece of art- enjoy.

  • amsam

    I think it’s cute. What concerns me most is that neither of the photos show the seat portion. The omission is too easily interpreted as cowardice on the part of the designer to show the jagged blocks where a tush should be– or an otherwise unsolved aspect of the design (maybe it’s smooth, and doesn’t look good?) If we are to be asked to appreciate a chair we can’t sit in, at very least we should be able to look at it from more than one angle!

  • Azm

    Just a nice white cushion on it will make it comfy!!

    @ when you refer to it as a ‘Chair’ function is the primary issue, so maybe if it is refered as art then the comments could have been different.



    HEEE James Gulliver Hancock LOVE YOUR WORK!

  • Chris

    I’m amazed so little people see the artistic value of this chair. I think it works as a piece of art, or a statement, though I either would have liked a bit more of an explanation by the designer (what does it represent to him?) or none at all, and let the piece do the talking.

    I can read elements of Cubism, Memphis and De Stijl into it, but represented by a child’s toy building blocks it puts those movements in an interesting perspective. Artists look at the world with wonder and translate it with a mix of intuition and intellectual deliberation into their art. They are, in a way, children with building blocks, building what they see through the filter of their artistic interpretation with the tools that are handed to them. One could even state that by the very act of being artists, they themselves become building blocks of the chair that seats society.

    So I think this chair is definitely a legitimate artistic exercise. I don’t think anybody can deny the integrity with which it was made and I think integrity is the only condition for art. What it becomes after that is a matter of individual interpretation: can you create a story around the piece that resonates with you. Apparently, many of you could not.

  • Its not a good sign if a project needs so much explanation and metaphorical talking to make it seem like a piece of art.

    His statement is simple and straight to the point! him interpreting a drawing made by James Gulliver Hancock.
    would more see it as an expressive, visual piece like a first rough sketch on paper.

  • Every time i come here I am not dissapointed, nice post

  • oh no!

    @eindhoven for me the concept is entirely clear. He transformed the sketch he liked into a 3d object (an object not a chair!). I like it as an exercise of translating the 2d to the 3d