Reinterpretation of classics: Noel Mercado and Knoll
by @industrialkonzept Team
A remarkable collaboration has emerged in the area of creative redesign: renowned design brand Knoll has teamed up with emerging artist Noel Mercado to reinterpret three of their iconic chairs. Mercado's ability to reinvent classic designs using recycled materials impressed Knoll, especially after his reupholstering of a vintage Knoll chair in vegan leather that bore the Kool cigarette logo.
In this current collaboration, Mercado has reimagined the Cesca, Spoleto and Wassily chair using materials typically found in a car wreck site. The Cesca chair uses hundreds of the famous Little Trees air fresheners, the colorful scented trees that have achieved cult status in pop culture. Mercado emphasizes the sculptural quality and vibrant colors of these elements.
Another creative redesign can be found in the Spoleto chair, which has been decorated with old car speakers. The Wassily chair, in turn, is characterized by reused car seat belts that have a supportive rather than restrictive function.
These projects reflect Mercado's dedication to upcycling and his appreciation for icons of the 20th and 21st centuries. Earlier this year, he collaborated with Swiss modular furniture maker USM, creating custom pieces including handmade vests and hats in signature USM color combinations and a credenza with a built-in coat hanger.
For the Knoll collaboration, Mercado was given complete creative freedom, underscoring the essential relationship between art and design, a central aspect of Knoll's philosophy, according to Suzanne Michaels, senior director of global brand creativity at Knoll. Mercado's work, which sits at the intersection of these disciplines, challenges viewers to rethink everyday objects.
These artworks will be available for purchase on Mercado's website (noel-mercado.com) starting Tuesday, with the artist receiving 100 percent of the proceeds.
Photos: © ADAM JASON COHEN/COURTESY KNOLL