Getting creative in the comfort of a good chair for an annual fund-raising ball

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 September, 2010, 12:00am

For the third year running, artists and culture aficionados will gather at the Mira Hotel tomorrow for the Ambassadors' Ball, an annual fund-raiser to promote design and creative projects.

Organised by the Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design and the Design Centre, it features the theme, 'a chair beyond compare'. A meditation on the form and essence of a chair is apparently one way to share creative experience.

Quizzed on the ball's focus on chairs this year, British interior designer Kelly Hoppen (pictured) was matter-of-fact: 'I have no idea why, honestly.'

Hoppen contributed one of her designs for the auction, which includes chairs by Ron Arad, Thomas Heatherwick, Charles Eames, and Timothy Oulton.

But she seemed disinclined to dwell overly much on the meaning of the chair: 'The chair I designed doesn't reflect who I am, it's just an extension of what I do.' Her Zhida dining chair takes inspiration from the female form: 'Like a woman's body, it has a waist and hips. It's a chair that's a bit large around the hips, upholstered and very comfortable.'

As Hoppen sees it, a chair is neither a prop nor sculpture. 'A chair says everything about comfort - to live in rather than to look at. There's nothing worse than going to someone's house for dinner and being uncomfortable for hours sitting in a dining chair.'