ZERO.GRAVITY is a cycle of human habitation; a sequence of spatial circumstances, engraved within a meandering interior and a circular exterior. The human sphere is no longer a divine or celestial body, but rather a terrestrial orb revolving on the earth’s surface. The piece was created by AN.ONYMOUS in collaboration with UCLA CityLAB for NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), aims to take work outside of the office and encourage new forms of collaboration and interaction with and within the outside environment.
ZERO.GRAVITY is not a chair, but an amalgam of four classic tubular steel chairs traced along a continuous loop: Marcel Breuer’s Wassily Chair, Mies van der Rohe’s MR Chair, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand’s LC4 Chaise longue, and Herbert Everest and Henry Jennings’ first Folding Wheel Chair. The continuous tubular steel frame not only scaffolds the body but also serves as the outline for a much larger tube that now cradles it. Users can sit in any of the four prescribed chairs by rolling the piece on the ground or by appropriating the interstitial areas to find their own comfort zones, take new positions, and adopt unscripted postures.
The human body is the essential component of ZERO.GRAVITY, long conceived within the ideological and geometric constraints of architecture: from the Vitruvian Man drawn within the idealized outlines of the circle and a square, the divine reconciliation of the formal and the functional orders of Renaissance humanism, to the Corbusian Modulor conceived from the standards of measure in the twentieth-century modernism, or the universal figure of a disabled body on a wheelchair codified in contemporary building regulations and graphics standards. The circle or square, the wheel, or the chair do not confine or define the body here. The divine circle has been reduced to a skeletal structure, and the square has been reduced to a convoluted relic of its modern past.
There is no fixed orientation or position in ZERO GRAVITY; there is no front or back, up or down. It is a restless, constantly moving object that finds stability and balances only when occupied. Its center of gravity is the human body—a prosthetic void that is only whole and complete with the body inside. But, in order to inhabit the piece, one must also tame it: a dynamic dance of the two in search of equilibrium. Motion is required for repose and rest in this context. The power that animates the machine is the labor of this intimate interplay.
Design team: Iman Ansari, Marta Nowak
Collaborator: UCLA CityLAB
Client: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory