Until July 31 MIT's Kresge Green is a vast living room, with an exhibition of some of the wittiest and most original furnishings you can imagine. The area is just off Massachusetts Avenue, between Amherst and Vassar Streets.
On the brick plaza in front of Kresge Auditorium there's a display of giant sofas and chairs made of hay bales. It's titled "Lazy Hay," by John Tagiuri. At lunchtime on a sunny day it fills up with students and passers-by.
"We're part of the art," a student pointed out happily as she posed on a bale.
Here are views of a few more chairs--you get the idea.
There's a lot more to the show. There are tables as well as chairs outside; exhibits inside the Auditorium lobby include cabinets, mirrors, desks and other pieces ranging from a massive trestle table to a tiny container the size of a spool of thread. The objects are remarkable for elegant craftsmanship, artful design, and beautiful materials as well as--in many cases--for humor.
The occasion for the Outdoor Furniture Exhibition is the June 16-19 conference on campus of the Furniture Society, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the art of furniture making. The theme of the 2010 conference is "Fusions: Minds + Hands Shaping Our Future." The conference runs June 16-19; the exhibition will be in place until the end of July.
Shocking but true: As you see in the last slide, some people from the conference were seen actually sitting on the grass, of all places.
Slides: #1, "Lazy Hay" by John Tagiuri; #2, "Colour Blocks" by Xiaoyu Bai; #3, "Backless Bench" by Robert Tiffany; #4, "Knitting Needle Stand" by Stephen Imo, Carol Sibley, Janet Lord; #5, "River Bench" by Peter Schlebecker; #6, Furniture Society attendees.
For more information see http://www.furnituresociety.org/furn/conference.php?page=exhibitions