Reading In Public (RIP!) was formed to celebrate the written word by way of community performance in public spaces. The project began as a response to the shifting landscape in publishing, and the realization that more and more of us are writing in public, as bloggers and tweeters, for instance. Similarly, we seek to broadcast words in public, through the simple act of contemplative reading on a noisy street corner, or as performance, with readers directly engaging onlookers.
Features of the chair:
• It had to have a small footprint so as not to obstruct pedestrian traffic on pavements as we wheeled it around
• It needed to be mobile (he added rollerskating wheels!) but not move once we set it down. We pulled it by the open lid.
• Stable enough that it won't tip over if a kid climbed on it (they did, it didn't move)
• Comfortable even without a cushion: He gently curved the seat to resemble the interior of a book when it is opened
• Make reference to a book: Note the seat curvature (above), and he used laminated plywood. The striations in the wood referenced book pages.
• Folds to a cube so we could lift it in and out of a car (and he notched the end so our fingers didn't get pinched)
• Work as temporary storage for any reading material our readers brought with them: The cavity where the legs are works as a small bookcase. He also made an ottoman which fits into the cavity, and which is essentially a box with a lid, for additional storage and seating (we used it for both). He sawed a book in half and used the halves as handles for the ottoman. The name of the book was "Hand Luggage" by John Bayley :)
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