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‘Take a Seat’ initiative raises money for disaster relief
May 14, 2013

The first international, simultaneous design exhibition curated by the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA), opened last week in San Diego, New York, and Osaka, Japan. “Take a Seat” features up-cycled, one-of-a-kind chairs creatively redesigned by members of the furnishings and design industry in all three locations and will culminate in a live public auction to raise funds for Japan Tsunami and Hurricane Sandy relief, as well as chapter professional development.
  
From left: Andrea Algaze and Dwayne Clark's designs
“Just after Hurricane Sandy hit we visited our Japan chapter’s Showhouse in Osaka, which was donating a portion of their proceeds to Japan Tsunami relief efforts,” said Karen C. Wirrig, FIFDA, interior designer and IFDA member. “We met the local director of Tsunami Relief, who was extremely grateful for the support because, he said, ‘even in Japan people have already forgotten and the area hardest hit remains devastated.’”
Wirrig, who was inspired by salvaged and re-designed chairs in the Osaka Showhouse, had a “light bulb moment” with IFDA member Maureen Klein—to hold a “chairs for charity” event where designers, artists, craftsmen, architects and students in all three locations could recycle chairs into something really special and sell them to raise money for Japan Tsunami and Hurricane Sandy relief.

Chair design by Christine Baumann
The three exhibitions will run through the end of the week and will conclude with a gala event where all chairs will be auctioned off to raise funds for the projects. The gala events will be held on Thursday, May 16 at the following venues: Lillian August Showroom, 12 W. 20th St., New York; Planet Rooth Design Haus, 3334 5th Ave., San Diego; and Sangetsu Osaka Showroom, 4F Harbis Osaka, 2-5-25 Umeda Kitaku, Osaka City.
The New York chairs will be on exhibit through Tuesday, May 21st at Lillian August in Soho during NYCxDESIGN, the citywide inaugural 12-day event showcasing and promoting designers of all disciplines.
   
From left: Jessica Geller and Tamara Stephenson's designs
Interior designer and IFDA member Jamie Drake along with a Bonham’s professional auctioneer will auction the chairs off at the gala party on Thursday evening. Tickets for this not-for-profit event, open to all, will be available for purchase online for $20 until tomorrow at midnight and $30 at the door.

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