It was a scene snatched from Disney’s Up: the daring Daniel Boria floating across a cloudless Calgary sky, strapped into a garden chair attached to over 100 helium-filled balloons. The stunt, in July, was to promote a cleaning company, but, instead, the 26-year-old succeeded in spraining his ankle, getting himself arrested and making headlines around the world.
Perhaps Boria might have fared better with Soane Britain’s flying rattan chair. After all, it already sports a trusty set of wings, woven by hand in the country’s last remaining rattan workshop. The surreal seat was designed by Soane co-founder Lulu Lytle, one of 90 creatives who took up the challenge of adapting a classic Ernest Race BA2 chair to raise money for The Art Room, a children’s art therapy charity. Re-Work It, as the resulting installation was called, saw the 90 transformed chairs showcased in Selfridges – suspended from the ceiling.
“My first thought on being invited to design a chair that would hang in Selfridges’ Atrium was flight,” explains Lulu, who also had the piece painted in the store’s signature canary yellow.
During the exhibition, bids were invited for these unique pieces, with all proceeds going to the charity. The Flying Chair’s feet are now firmly on the ground, in a new owner’s home. But don’t think you’ve seen the last of it yet. Believe: a chair might just fly again.
Words Rosie Duncan