Design Trust Seed Grant

The Mass Production of Cool: Re-Making Tolix in the PRD

Victoria and Albert Museum

This project looks at the global proliferation of the Tolix Chair - one of the most re-produced chairs in the world which can be found in bars and cafes from Bangkok to Barstow - through the lens and logic of Chinese manafuacture and e-commerce. More broadly, it uses the case of Tolix, to explore the influence that Chinese manufacture has had in serving - and to a large part determining - the material language of 'cool'. Through a series of interviews, the author will trace the origins of the chair from a small town in France, to the factory towns of the Pearl River Delta, to bar and café owners around the world, who choose to furnish their environments with this iconic chair. 

About Brendan Cormier

Brendan Cormier is a senior design curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum. He was the lead curator for the V&A Gallery at Design Society which opened in December 2018 in Shenzhen, China. He has also curated exhibitions for the Venice Biennale of Architecture, the London Design Biennale, the Urbanism\Architecture Bi-City Biennale, and the London Design Festival. Much of his recent curatorial work focuses on re-situating reproductions and copies into a wider ecosystem of design; and how they play a vital role in design education, creative production, and cultural preservation. Prior to working at the V&A, he was the managing editor of Volume Magazine.