Colombian ex-prisoners weave a new life

Marni - 100 Chairs

It’s been said that a chair is a designer’s self-portrait, and this series conjures a strong, welcoming Colombian connection. Furniture design is constantly pushing the boundaries of form, materiality and processes to strive for new perspectives and visually exciting outcomes. This charity project by Marni employs Colombian ex-prisoners to weave these chairs using traditional techniques as part of a rehabilitation programme. The chairs are produced from salvaged materials including concrete reinforcing bars for the structure and coloured PVC piping for the seat and backrests. Marni chose the twenty colours that run throughout the palette, and had seven models in which to experiment with as well as ten deckchairs and ten tables. The results look visually dynamic and structurally simplistic, but are surprisingly complex. The fact the weaving has been completed as part of a rehabilitation method means there’s not only a tangible end-product, but that this production process can benefit people’s lives. This adds a human touch to the chairs that similar mass produced items in the marketplace cannot offer. The materials chosen are also significant to the final outcome, using unconventional materials makes the chairs feel fresh and contemporary, whilst the contrasting traditional weaving technique takes the project from the romantic to the functional.

Salik Miller