Dezeen Magazine

Selfportrait by Ka-Lai Chan

Utrecht School of the Arts graduate Ka-Lai Chan has designed a bulging chair representing her suppressed emotions.

Parts of the chair are swollen and bulging, while textile elements break through the surface and symbolise her personality revealing itself.

The piece is supported by a metal frame and upholstered in stretch PU leather. Polyether foam fills the chair and forces lycra patches outwards through holes in the leather.

Top image is by Marion Panhuijzen. All other images are by Ka-Lai Chan.

Here's some text from Ka-Lai Chan:


"Selfportrait’ is a graduation project based on the emotions and suppressed feelings what Ka-Lai Chan has experienced. The chair expresses the designer’s own personality and character.

“In the past I have always found myself to be a quiet and introvert person. I suppressed my own emotions and didn't dare to show my feelings to other people. I was afraid that people will find me weird for being who I am. It felt like there was something growing on me which gets bigger and bigger like a tumor. I always tend to hide away my personality, but on the other hand I wanted nothing more but to open up and just be myself.”

The round and swollen parts of the chair design 'Selfportrait' represent the suppressed emotions, which reflects a certain tension. The holes in the skin are created by the inside (me) that wants to come out. It pushes the skin open. The real personality of me and my emotions which want to reveal itself to the outside world.

Ka-Lai Chan is a 2009 graduate product designer from the school of arts in Utrecht.

"In my designs I try to astonish and suprise people. Why is everything as it? And everybody takes it as it is. Everything could be different. Nothing is as it should be. Within my designs I try to create forms and products that are not too obvious. I play and experiment with material and shapes. That's how unique and creative products are brought to daylight."