The Tank by Pharrell Williams


A chair designed by American recording artist and producer Pharrell Williams will be on show at Gallerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris next week.

Called The Tank, the piece consists of a leather seat on a plexiglass base that references caterpillar tracks.

Photographs are by Guillaume Ziccarelli, courtesy Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin.

Here's a little text from the gallery and some words by Williams:

The Emmanuel Perrotin Gallery presents, on apointment, from 30 March the new design creation of Pharrell Williams, a chair entitled The Tank.

After completing the chair Perspective, conceived as a reflection on love, and the sculpture The Simple Things, a collaboration with the artist Takashi Murakami, Pharrell Williams tackles the theme of war.

How does a young person decide to engage in a battle that does not seem to be hers/his ?

I’m standing in the mirror...
Shadow boxing...
Kicking ass....
And I thought, how laughable the macho version of me...
But could I be?
It takes guts and a reason... or is innate?
Is it simply in man’s nature to fight and show his colors of heart... the scars of experience?
Things he does not like...
So he...
One man once said, »war is not the answer»...
But those of us born to this world, ambitious with the taste of change may not always
Understand the social methods of the same.
Instead, we seek and cure our curiosities with sharing our views by any means of a vessel; expression.
We believe Art is the alteration of existence and that which provokes thought.
So, in reference to Marvin Gaye’s brilliant question, I asked myself, «what was the question?»...
When my thought was met with a silence that was so thick it could be cut, it made me ask myself this.....
»Then what must it be like to be young and serve?»...»What if you couldn’t pay your tuition?»...
»What if it is simply family tradition?»..»What if you thought it was the right thing to do?»...
Wow, to sit in the seats of our youth (as well as others)... fighting for a series of reasons most of
Which can be argued and debated but being young and having your own reason?...
To wake up and make up your mind that you’ve found a reason to stand amongst the brave
Where loss at least on some levels are inevitable, even if it’s just time..
The only answer is that which is square.
«Intention» divided by «behavior» which is then divided by «reality» should equal to one’s truth.
Yes, our government, too, should exercise this regularly...
If we would spend «love» and «time» like we do «money», we’d never go broke...
But then again who am I trying to fool or what am I trying to fix?
I’m just a guy in the mirror trying to imagine what it must feel like to be young... headed into war...
I’m sorry, how rude of me...
I’ve left you standing...
I’m sorry, please do...
Have a seat.


Posted on Tuesday March 16th 2010 at 4:19 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • kc

    yox brox. i actually like this chair and honestly believe that the name Pharrel Williams has just provoked all this negativity.

    but to say this chair is a joke and “not design” is going too far. its been considered, maybe not to everyone’s taste but nevertheless im sure it delivers PWs ideas to his satisfaction.

  • seeingreen

    pharrell williams, i want to hide FOR you. the chair, the shoes, the hat, the long meaningless opening? omg. its all so bad. who is buying that?

  • karl

    or joaquin? phoenix’s attempt to rap

  • L

    Why do they always have to mess with other people’s (professionals) work? They doing bad enough with their disturbing music why do they have to do it with design too. i feel threatened….

  • Al-Ishaq

    It seems comfortable, and gives a sense of security and firmness.
    I would gladly sit in it and play video games but i wont decorate my house with it.

  • talula

    this guy robs people of their art in every territory. Im ashamed of The Emmanuel Perrotin Gallery. WHAT ARE YOU GUYS THINKING? this looks like a high tech japanese wheelchair. Its wrong. Its ugly, and shame on anyone who pays money for it.

  • ads

    The Pink Floyd was founded in ’65 by Wright (keyboards and vocals), Nick Mason (drums) and Roger Waters (bass and vocals) – all architecture students in London’s `Polytechnic’, Karim Rashid is a Dj as we speak.

    So why you PHDs [ Player Hater Degree] without a design to your name not pleased with this young man, remove Pharell from that design you guys will be singing a different tunes.

    I think is a challenge for designers to get to the studio and take their work seriuosly so as to be exceptional if not rap artist are going to put you out of jobs.

    Also note this guy has great taste he is a one time GQ man of the year, also Kanye west [he has a great pad] we should not underestimate these men, they are stars they have the contact before you know it his tank chair will be sold out while we are surviving on our day jobs that cannot pay our dingy pad rent with the proud tag of designer on our forehead.

  • Xit

    Anatoli Says:

    March 17th, 2010 at 11:39 am
    Horrible !
    Maybe as horrible as if Jasper Morrison made a hip hop album !

    ^ amongst the raft of comments, this one says it all

  • marl carx


    wow your comment has floored me. remove pharell from this design and you will not see the design as it is not strong. The only reason it is in the media is because of the name Pharell. plain and simple. it is rubbish.

    The fact that you reference Pharell, Kanye and Karim Rashid in a taste/style conversation automatically tells us that your judgement on this subject is way way off.

    the earlier Jasper Morrison comment is class btw.

  • bernardo

    how do you say in french? ridicule

  • yoyo

    Better than his music, I think he has found a new calling!

  • Piper Maxwell

    Once upon a time, a transformer massacred a tonka truck. A big wheel rolled through the noise with a childlike enthusiasm, becoming tangled in a mess that put all three to rest.

    At long last, Pharrell revived the remains.

    Now the work stands as a memorial to that restless day not so long ago.

  • istvan

    you’re all haters filled with prejudice!
    envious of someone elses success…
    the chair is not that bad… i’ve seen worse by philippe starck…

  • j-11


    contrived, shallow, tenuous, tacky, boring, it certainly bears the signature of its designer.

    why oh why do Dezeen promote such shite?

    and it isnt relevant because of the amount of comments it has received. Please dont stoop to such cheap and lazy tactics.

  • Is it some kind of cowskin I see at the black chair!? What`s the consept behind this?

    All these popstars is beginning to really p*** me off. Its such a shame to the profession. The profession “designer” should be a protected title such as “architect”, “doctor” and so on…So that we can eliminate everything that is not “design” (hate that word btw, just because of things like this..) How can anyone take it serious?

  • Alicia Rachelle Clark

    Pharrell I love you, and I have forever and Im not one of those psycho fans honestly If I ever got the chance to meet you I would just want to hang out with you because your so cool and I love your music and style. Plus I am not gonna lie your sexy obviously. anyway just thought I would write on here not like you personally is going to ever read it.


  • Hans

    one word


    This is what happens when celebs design things

  • jack the ripper

    Design gangsta , you are under arrest .

  • You know, as a proffessional hater, I hate all that ECAL style coloured shapes stuff.

    All that Gric uber style stuff.

    All that Eindhoven wacky stuff.

    All that wooshy Zaha stuff.

    I should hate this chair, it’s silly, and not very well proportioned. And I hate plastic. And tanks. But it’s come from somewhere that nothing else on Dezeen comes from. It’s ugly, but it’s got a different DNA to all of the usual design stuff. It’s not just a different idea, it’s got different blood.

    It might only be on Dezeen because Pharell Williams made it, but I don’t think that matters. I think it’s more interesting because it’s exotic. And I don’t mean ‘design/art’ exotic. I mean like outsider art.

    Yeah… outsider art made by a man with silly shoes.

    Vive la difference!

    (I bet his feet are hot in that photograph)

  • ipsum upsim

    I really gotta laugh at all the hoity toity designer wannabes talking shit about this chair. I’m not saying the only reason most of the idiots hating on this is because they have inherited their design sense from books the same way people learn religions, I am just saying that people’s criticism of this chair is sooooooo boring and should be directed towards all the tepid predictable extrapolations of ‘modern’ ‘design’-

    The universe or black holes don’t give a shit about what chair you think is ugly or not, or who you think should design one. Anyone can make a chair, and mostly anything can be sat upon. I like to see things like this because it makes this world more interesting. All the bauhaus biters with their insipid modernist ideodrome babble can GFY in a glass box so others can watch if they want without being able to hear it.

    I think the form of the seat could be a little different though to fit the concept. I don’t think this is so bad at all.

    I also think his shoes are probably way more interesting than the boring mass manufactured shit everyone on this forum probably wears anyway, but that’s just the truth (something can be interesting even if you don’t like it)

  • First of all..I agree that ugly things can be interesting., but what makes this chair interesting? Is it a comment on the war in Iraq…?
    Second..Nobody was talking about what “the universe” thinks. I guess this “comment box” at the end of every article is for YOU to tell what YOU think…
    And last..I believe that design isn`t something you only learn from books, but from research, criticism and experience.

  • @ipsum upsim

    ” I am just saying that people’s criticism…should be directed towards all the tepid predictable extrapolations of ‘modern’ ‘design’. ”


    I hate all that stuff that pretends to be serious ‘modern’ design – when really it just looks like unimaginative designers trying to imitate the style of Gric et all.
    Get a life. Get some new shoes.

  • The shoes are obviously there to take focus from the chair itself!
    It’s funny, but not that funny!

    Try again! or stick to the music Pharrell!

  • eclipse

    I agree with asdfghjkl (?wtf?), its knda snotty and misses the point to over criticize something that is a bit ugly, tacky, probably gonna see it in the walmart kids section in 6 months or so, but who cares? vive la difference, the supposed “critical creatives” who are pretending to be cool all are creating in accordance with a pretty strict little list of design criteria/constraints, which has been deemed by certain authoritative journals/blogs to be COOL… but while everyone fusses about trying to be cool and individual they wind up jumping from one homogeny to another…and stuck in the “tepid predictable extrapolation of modern” design of the month… COOL is cool- I dont like the chair, but it IS COOL…

  • am drugs are bad


    what crack did you enjoy this am? or are you a dear friend of the fool that calls this art?? have a cup of coffee and wake up sir.

  • the worsk thing i’ve seen, i mean, besides the shoes

  • b

    “Cut me Mick.”
    “Go ahead, cut me.”

  • Andrew

    Haha, wow. I don’t know if this was already stated, but he’s wearing Nike snowboard boots.

    P.S. – Chair is way too contrived; looks terrible.

  • BRian


    I saw the design, hated it, AND THEN found out it was Pharrell.

    I wonder if he actually got his hands dirty creating this, or, he just put his brand stamp on it.

    Pharrel, if you want some help with furniture, gimme a call


  • It’s funny at least! LOOL

  • it’s like me trying to rap, because the chair looks like crap! a better design could be accomplished by me cat. ha

  • Kimberley

    Would look great in a music studio… waiting room!!! But love the heart behind it, I think we have all forgotten to express the relevance of the time in art- no matter what form. Just like people will always be at war, there will always be those common ugly stackable Eames rip-off chairs. Great juxtaposition between two forms- isn’t about taste, and not meant to be mass-produced, so is more about thought provocation

  • Jose

    I just stumbled over his source of inspiration :D

  • RobbyRob845

    You all are a$$ holes like seriously? come on the mans trying to express his way of art that he sees through his eyes you cant come on here and make fun of his design cuz thats what he sees and likes. all of you who are dissing him are haters because he doing something else instead of rapping, he showing his imagination in art. i like the chair i think it really different and different types of art is what alot of people like. obiviously the guy who owns the Gallerie Emmanuel Perrotin likes it soo all of you cna find other ways of being a$$ holes!

  • This SUCKS, incredibadly (yes and i’ve spelt it wrong on purpose).
    Speaking of wrongs this is such a wrong to art, culture and design. I don’t like insulting people and artist that I hold highly but this is just atrocious. Please Pharrell as one of my favourite producers, just stay in the studio with Chad and the both of you design melodies and compositions that make me go as crazy as when I first heard “Grindin'”, “I’m Good”, I’m Beamin and Change Clothes amongst other things. (Luckily “Hot N’ Fun” has grown on me so I still love N.E.R.D). But back to the point no more industrial design Pharrell, no more.

    (Sticking f’in cheap chairs on some expensive leg’s and saying it’s great design… stop that man.)

  • Anders

    I specifically clicked on the image of this chair because I didn’t understand it: it looked shallow, pretentious and showed a misunderstood attempt at conceptual design, so I was wondering what the angle was, and if there was something I didn’t get. Turns out the angle was that it was designed by Pharell Williams.

  • Sinnsakar

    Will you stop!

  • kate

    Did Pharell actually come up with this idea all on his own or was he “inspired” by a US vet who made a tank chair for his disabled wife.
    Pharell could have better used his time and money donating to the tank chair charity.