Experimenta One & Two by Alain Gilles


Brussels designer Alain Gilles has created two armchairs combining second-hand objects for non-profit Belgian organisation Les Petits Riens/Spullenhulp.

Called Experimenta One & Two, the chairs will be auctioned tomorrow as part of a project called Second Hand, Second Life, where thirty designers and stylists have been asked to give a second life to discarded objects such as furniture and clothing. Profits generated from auctioning the items will be used for social projects.

Gilles' project combines two 1960's rattan chair shells with metal legs and a textile cover, held in place by plastic clips.

Here's some information from Gilles about the project:


The “Experimenta One & Two” armchair are the result of a discussion between the old and the new, between the original “vintage” piece and its reclaimed modern transformation.  The past, the original 1960’s rattan seat, has become the structural foundation for the new reclaimed one.  Its origins are not at all hidden, just whitened and in a way blurred by the 3D woven textile cover.

It is a combination between very old production techniques and extremely modern 3D weaving technologies. The inner qualities of the textile are used to redefine the object. Its strength gives it its unique shape, and its structure has made the connection between the cover and the existing chair very simple and almost invisible. The binding is made by some very small plastic auto-fastening cable clamps that entrap only one side of the 3D fabric to hold it in position. The two seats are also an experimentation on the graphic weight of an object. Both armchairs are very similar, only the placement of two graphic stripes give them a unique personality. The emphasis it creates is meant to alter the perception and visual shape of the object.

This “experimental” project has been specialy created for  “Les Petits Riens/Spullenhulp” a non profit organisation created some 70 years ago in Brussels and currently active in the whole of Belgium. They collect discarded objects such as furniture and clothing. These are either redistributed to those in need, or the profits generated by the sales of these vintage pieces are used to finance specific social projects intended to favor the socio-professional re-integration of people.

For the seventh time in a row they are organizing an event called  “Second Hand, Second life” .  They have asked  17 designers and 13 stylists to give a  “second life”  to some of the furniture and clothing they have collected.  These one-off and very unique creations are then auctioned off to collectors at the end of a ceremony that will take place on Friday 16th October 2009 in the “Tour & Taxis”  hall in Brussels.  This annual event is meant to promote their activity, but also to collect funds for the organization.

The designers participating in the “Second Hand, Second Life” auction are:

Alain Berteau, Olivier Berghmans & Olivier Gilson, Michaël Bihain, Steven Brouns, Benoît Deneufbourg, Louis de Limburg Stirum, Hans De Pelsmacker, Nicolas Destino, Nedda El-Asmar, Alain Gilles, Linde Hermans, Pascal Koch, Gauthier Poulain, Pol Quadens, stefan schöning, Lennart Van Uffelen & le team ToMA Gerkens, Barbara Helft, Cedric Van Cauwenberghe, Charlotte Lancelot & David Richiuso

The stylists participating in the “Second Hand, Second Life” auction are:

Monsieur Bul, Lisa Colpaert, Fabienne Delvigne, An Eckers, Caroline Foulon, Sandrina Fasoli, Carine Gilson, les Hommes, Marius Pompon, Sigi, Edouard Vermeulen (NATAN), Team Petits Riens, Christian Wijnants.

Posted on Thursday October 15th 2009 at 1:06 pm by Jasmin Gunkar. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • B

    rattan chairs are great and highly underestimated
    3 d weaving gives such a cool and nice textiles..
    but the two of them together do not make something bigger than the sum..In fact I think it makes less.

  • Capstick

    I like very much the original rattan chair. The blanket on the chair make it looks really cheap, in a bad way. I think that design is more than white paint and a spare cover.

  • claire

    Magnifiques courbes, finesse du dessin et originalité du textile, bravo !

  • lior

    i understand the concept in general but I don’t think that putting that piece of cloth on the chair is showing it. I actually like the chair by it self much better.

  • abie a

    Such overwhelming comments about the rattan chair :)