Japanese artist Shiro Kuramata was trained as an architect and interior designer. Chairs might be the most common objects in our daily lives, yet this chair is quite unique. First, the artist has given his design a surprising name, How High the Moon. And while it is in the form of a soft, upholstered chair, consider the material he chose—steel mesh. What do you think about that decision? Sometimes material, function, and the title of a work of art can be clues to interpreting it. Imagine you’re taking a seat in How High the Moon. What kind of story can you imagine about this object? Where do you think this object might belong?
See and Think
Look closely at How High the Moon and use descriptive words to explain out loud what you see.
Now try describing this object in writing or drawing. Have you noticed more details?
What are some ways the material of the chair is important? Do you imagine it would be substantial or flimsy? Why?
Are you sitting in a chair? How is your chair similar or different than How High the Moon?
Who do you imagine sitting in this chair?
Now speculate where might you find it—at home, school, or somewhere different?
Do: Design Your Own Chair
Materials Needed: paper, colored pencils, pencil
Fold an 8.5 x 11 inch paper in half. On the outside, write your name, because you are the designer.
On the front of the folded paper, write descriptive words about the chair you are imagining.
Open the folded paper and use a pencil to refine your sketch, maybe beginning to imagine the room or setting you see it fitting into.
Flip the paper on the back. Using your accumulated ideas, write a two or three sentence story about who sits in the chair and where the chair is.