10 March 2015


A Creative DC is a weekly series showcasing all aspects of a creative lifestyle in the District. The city's full and part-time doers and makers, how + where they live, gather, and create, and what they do, make, and notice. For more about the project click here. Follow along here at Panda Head and at @aCreativeDC on Instagram, and hashtag your own DC lifestyle with #aCreativeDC. Your life looks good here.

C O N F E S S I O N : I'm chair-obsessed. So when Lauren Rapp started tagging her CHAIR365 project to the #aCreativeDC feed on Instagram I was immediately into it; as soon as I found out she had committed to the practice as part of her life-routine – come home, make a chair from unexpected/found materials, photograph it, then go to bed – I had to be pulled down from ecstatic. I've mentioned this many (many) times along the line, but the work ethic in the city is bonkers, and I love beyond description finding out what, exactly, people are doing with their time when they're not at work – more often than not they're investing efforts + energy into a side/passion project, and once I found Lauren's, I had to get in touch.

"I LOVE my hood. I love it because it has my favorite bookstore in the city, Eastern Market weekends, insanely beautiful trees, old people, young families and Lincoln Park. Perhaps, it’s the neighborhood in DC that felt most akin to home. "

Now 80 chairs into the year-long effort, the Missouri native has used materials ranging from mousetraps and postcards to discarded oatmeal boxes and thrifted toys, and is slowly amassing a cabinet full of Dremels, superglues, and epoxies in her Capitol Hill home. After the jump, a little bit about Lauren's creative DC, WAY MORE CHAIRS, and yes! Way more of her amazingly decorated and art-filled apartment.

YOUR CHAIRS! Why chairs? And where did the idea for the project come from? 
I have a deep affection for art, design and furniture specifically. I’ve always had an attraction to chairs and lighting. It’s something unexplainable, like any other kind of visceral attraction. It brings me feelings of joy, delight and connectedness. CHAIR365 is the non-project, project. An organic fluke. After meditating, I felt compelled to make the first chair, then the next day, the next and again. I was toying with the of how long to continue at the same time a friend said they thought I should do it for a year. I concluded it was meant to be. I’ve committed, and here we are, day 82 and counting.

What's your process for making them?
The first process for the chairs is total loyalty and commitment. After that, it’s just details. It seems to come together. Sometimes I happen upon materials I never would have thought of, at the thrift store or on the street. Some of the materials I seek out specifically and I enjoy the transformation of those objects into a chair. The act of deconstructing objects is teaching me a great deal about how products are engineered...I’ve been struggling a bit with finding adhesives that work on plastics and also adhesives that will work on food. If anyone has any knowledge on that….please enlighten me. I’m fascinated by the concept of transformation and it’s been a theme throughout all my work, even prior to the chairs. Some of my favorite chair materials have been the plastic dinosaur, a condom box, fresh flowers, an old found rolodex, the Morton’s salt rocker and a rat trap.

Tell me about your refrigerator decor! I'm obsessed. 
 Magnets might be one of the most nonessential objects ever. Maybe one or two to attach notes to the fridge, I get it, but, having a ridiculous amount, is, well...ridiculous. They are bright, little, unneeded, frivolous, happy bits of joy. Much like a hoarder, they are memory snapshots. I’ve gotten them all over the world, at thrift shops, friends now get them for me, and I’ve even made a few. They just feel happy and nonsensical and good.
F A V O R I T E  H O M E  G O O D S  S P O T S ?
GoodWood, Salt & Sundry, HomeGoods, Homebody and back alleys.

What do you do when you're not making chairs?  
Honing the urban bike commute, attempting to flirt with the man who owns Capital Hill Books, exploring DC with friends, [taking] meetings, graffiti hunting, thrifting, enviously eyeing other people’s dogs, disabling and re-enabling my OKC profile, perusing Instagram and checking out art (we are so lucky in DC to have free access to amazing works). Doing my best to be present in the moment and notice the details. 

And what happens when the year is up? 
 I relish the idea of creating art full-time. I dream of designing furniture and am hoping to have the opportunity to create some of these small chairs into full-scale fine art objects. Mostly, I’d love to be paid to imagine, dream and create.

follow Lauren: @laurenrapp



Blogger Megan Kendall said...

dude, this girl is fresh. i really dig her eye for stream line and clean design...yet still complex and fun. great photos too. awesome find. who would have thought chairs could be so fun!

11:17 PM  

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