What are Best Friends for?

The Best Friends Chair, designed by Austrian architect and designer Martin Mostböck, is now part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Arts and Design in  New York City.

Says Vienna-based journalist Christian Desrues, “It is said that old furniture has a history. Very well, but most of the time, it is one of its owners. But some new furniture also has a history, namely that of its origin. Martin Mostböck´s object, Best Friend’s Chair, was not born from practical considerations, as one can easily see. The creation arose from a reaction, so it is really a response to experiences, a personal catharsis. Experience is being processed, brought to shape. In Mostböck´s native city of Vienna, which is, along with its many benefits, also known for its not always likeable idiosyncrasies of its inhabitants, people paraphrase exceptionally vile behaviour among people close to each other with a variety of colourful expressions. ‘A stab in the back’ is one of them. That is also a way to understand design, as an instrument of retribution. The rack was also designed by someone, wasn’t it? Mostböck contents himself with the torture chair. Nothing to lean back and relax anyway!”  


The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) explores the blur zone between art, design, and craft today. Accredited by the American Association of Museums since 1991, MAD focuses on contemporary creativity and the ways in which artists and designers from around the world transform materials through processes ranging from the artisanal to the digital. For nearly half a century, MAD has served as the country’s premier institution dedicated to the collection and exhibition of contemporary objects created in media such as clay, glass, wood, metal and fibre. The seed for MAD, however, was planted almost 70 years ago, when Aileen Osborn Webb – the nation’s premier craft patron and benefactor – established the American Craftsmen’s Council in 1942.  

For more info, visit madmuseum.org.