Two objects impersonate an indicative style (Chippendale and Federal) of early American furniture to reflect Norman Kelley’s interest in anachronism over invention. Each object aspires to be something other: a tilt-top table is fixed to a corner to reflect like a mirror and a rolltop desk withdraws into itself to reveal an armchair. Like a child’s easily detectable hiding spot, the works are not wholly successful in concealing their true type. It is only after a simple mechanical task or a closer look that the pair presents invites the observer to take a seat or freshen up. Architecturally, the proposal addresses the larger issue of how to display and occupy furniture within a room, domestic or otherwise. During the 18th century, to which our proposal is heavily indebted, the developed surface interior was used by architects looking to differentiate rooms from other rooms within the same home. Consequently, the wall earned prominence as an organizing device for both furnishings and other finishing treatments. The origin of each furniture piece explored in our proposal ties them to this history—of interiors that attracted objects to walls for reasons that were more than just functional and social. The objects were first exhibited along with the work of SO-IL, MOS, and ADVVT as part of a Juan Garcia Mosqueda curated exhibition at Friedman Benda Gallery.



Chair, Mirror


Juan Garcia Mosqueda


Friedman Benda, New York, New York, USA


No-Thing: An Exploration Into Aporetic Architectural Furniture


January 18 – April 14, 2018

Project Team

Thomas Kelley, Carrie Norman, Jason Lewis