‘Header: Adam Jason Cohen
Knoll has selected rising artist Noel Mercado to reinvent classic Knoll chairs. Spotting his earlier works using Knoll designs as a medium, Mercado was engaged to create new pieces with full creative freedom. The artist used salvaged car parts and accessories to develop one-of-a-kind artworks with the Cesca Chair, Spoleto Chair, and Wassily Chair as the foundation.
Mercado’s practice is based on using found objects to generate new functions and forms:
- The Cesca Chair. A muti-sensory concept using hundreds of “Little Trees” air fresheners.
- Spoleto Chair. Car speakers give it a completely new purpose.
- Wassily Chair. Seatbelts “hold you up rather than holding you in”, according to Mercado.
“I like to take objects intended for a specific function and apply that function to something completely new, like with the seatbelts on the Wassily Chair. Or sometimes there’s a more personal attachment, like the ‘Little Trees’ on the Cesca. I always had a specific one hanging in my car throughout high school. I still like the sculptural quality and the vibrant colors. It’s such a recognizable object.”Noel Mercado
Mercado’s works exemplify his strong craftmanship and ability to honour an object’s origin. When developing these pieces, he aimed to preserve the history and patina of the original materials, while also incorporating a sense of humor.
For Mercado, collaborating with Knoll is a natural fit given their shared dedication to craft. “Working on Knoll furniture requires a serious appreciation for the artists and the standards they set when they designed these pieces,” Mercado added. “Deconstructing Knoll furniture has taught me a lot about structure, materials, beauty, and the balance between them all.”
This artistic partnership is a continuation of Knoll’s commitment to supporting emerging artists, and builds on Knoll’s dedication to sustainable design that considers the social, economic, and environmental impact of business on people and the planet.
“The relationship between art and design is essential to everything we do at Knoll. Noel’s work – which is positioned right at the intersection of these disciplines – challenges viewers to rethink everyday objects.”Suzanne Michaels, Senior Director, Global Brand Creative at Knoll