Now Is The Time To Be utopian

a participatory project created by industrial designer Kelly Hayes



“I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.”

- Henry David Thoreau

Now is the time to be utopian is a participatory project created by industrial designer Kelly Hayes

The society portion of the project was a three-part workshop hosted in the Wave Pool Wood Shop, to produce a group of chairs collaboratively, as a way to discuss utopias and alternative economies with our neighbors.

The folding chair being a humble vessel to begin the conversation of an alternative economy and local community needs, skills and expectations.

Framed as an intentional workshop learning to simple woodworking skills and active participation in production. Each participant chose a part of the chair to make, and began the hard work of producing measuring, cutting, drilling, etc. Then at our second meeting we came together to assemble each chair. The participants agreed upon how they should all unite. In the end the group decided to make open ended poetry, with three lines of a noun, verb and adjective. Creating open sentences such as: include equity together or feed healthy serenity. One participant graciously made the templates for the seat and on our final class we attached the seats and spray painted each word to each seat. The resulting chairs are designed to be rearranged for others to create their own manifesto for society using the words provided.

The nine chairs will have a home in the community at The Welcome Project.

Workshop photography by Alex Sizemore