Curator’s Eye: Engineering Temporality Lounge Chair by Studio Markunpoika

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Her inner self—the mind, the soul, the personality— had vanished, but her body, the structure, remained, a ghost of the original being

FINNISH-BORN DESIGNER TUOMAS Markunpoika studied furniture design at the Lahti Institute of Design before moving to Amsterdam for an internship with acclaimed designer Marcel Wanders in 2010. He has remained in the Netherlands since and continued his studies at the celebrated Design Academy Eindhoven, graduating in 2012 with a degree in contextual design.

Markunpoika made his breakthrough in 2012 with a cabinet, originally part of his master’s thesis project, called Engineering Temporality, that later developed into a series. The series now includes a chandelier, lounge chair, mirror, and other bespoke products. For the pieces, Markunpoika manipulates tubular steel, cutting it into small rings and welding them together onto the surface of old wooden furniture. Then he burns away the piece of furniture—the original cabinet or lounge chair—leaving only the shell-like structure behind.

Engineering Temporality Lounge Chair by Tuomas Markunpoika (1982–) of Studio Markunpoika. Steel, 2013. COURTESY OF MARKUNPOIKA STUDIO/TUOMAS MARKUNPOIKA PHOTO

The idea for Engineering Temporality grew out of Markunpoika’s personal experience. His grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and ended up a shell of her former self. Her inner self— the mind, the soul, the personality—had vanished, but her body, the structure, remained, a ghost of the original being.

The lounge chair from the series is unique and hand-produced by Studio Markunpoika.

Suvi Saloniemi
Chief Curator
Design Museum
Helsinki, Finland