Film and Furniture recommends: ‘Seat from Set’ on Instagram
If like us, you’re hooked on furniture in films or like a story behind the items you furnish your home with, then you’ll love the Seat From Set Instagram feed we discovered recently. It features weekly graphic illustrations of iconic chairs from films and movies, many of which we have featured here on Film and Furniture. We asked the man behind the feed – Matteo Muci (a Graphic Designer from Italy) a few questions:
F&F: What prompted you to start your Instagram project ‘Seat from Set’?
Matteo: My passions: graphics, furniture and films. Graphic design is something that has always fascinated me and it has also become my job. I learned to love furniture design studying it at college. And lastly, cinema is another interest of mine. I thought for a long time about a personal project that would encapsulate my “world”, then I finally got the idea: Seat from Set!
F&F Why do you think furniture and chairs in films are interesting?
Matteo: Furniture defines and characterizes the environment as much as the clothes or actors themselves. In choosing one chair over another, the filmmaker – or at least a good filmmaker – gives clues on the mood of the scene. It makes the set a dialogue as much as the characters. In the words of the English architect Peter Smithson “When we design a chair we make a society and a city in miniature”. It is the same when a filmmaker decides to adopt a certain style by furnishing his film: he creates a whole universe through it.
F&F: Do you have a favourite piece of furniture featured in a film? And why…
Matteo: If I had to choose between those I have published so far, I would certainly say the Djinn, featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey (see details on this in our Film and Furniture 2001 feature). Firstly, the film is a milestone of cinema, but the chair itself is much more than a simple chair: it’s a mirror of the ’60s. It reflects the interests of that period (the name “Djinn” comes from the name of the genies of Oriental tales, and mysticism greatly influenced the decorative art of the 60s). Lastly, the reduced height of the chairs reflects a new casual lifestyle typical of that time.
F&F: Which chairs/films have you got lined up to work on?
Matteo: I have in mind many upcoming chairs: there’s bound to be something else from Mad Men. The furniture is an integral part of every scene and contributes to perfectly recreating the context in which the characters move.
The TV series Suits offers excellent insights. There are also chairs which have appeared in several films, due to their iconic nature such as the Barcelona chair. There are many more, but I cannot reveal them all!
F&F: Why did you choose Instagram as a platform for your project?
Matteo: I think that the media perfectly suits the type of feed I’m trying to create with Seat from Set: a weekly update, with the ability to follow the profile and stay up to date rather than a static website without any form of interaction. Furthermore, smartphones have become an incredibly strong way to absorb news from all around the world, in real time.
F&F: Does it take you long to create each image?
Matteo: It varies greatly from chair to chair. The Up5 chair for example took me a long time because I had to draw every single band on it, one by one. Conversely it can also be complex thinking about how to draw a simple shape such as the sofa lips: the design was so simple itself that I had to do various tests before finding the right way to represent it with this illustration style. Luckily there are others, like the Djinn Chair for which I already had a clear idea of how to draw it and it took just 30 minutes to create it!
You may also be interested in these F&F features:
How Blade Runner combines a multi-cultural past with a retro-fitted present >
2001 A Space Odyssey – a close look at those fabulously futuristic Djinn chairs and how Kubrick’s vision of the future was brought to life through ‘product placement’ >