The Unsinkable Chair Project

6 months ago, I moved to Portland, Oregon for both work and for a change of pace from the NYC grind. I was warned that the city was a rainy and gloomy place, but 6 months ago, it was summer. According to local lure, only Oregonians knew what their home had to offer 3 months out of the year.

Every year, Design Within Reach holds an annual contest where fans submit champagne chairs based on the following criteria:

  • Use any or all of the materials (except glass) from no more than two (2) champagne bottles.
  • Glue is the only permitted adhesive. You are not permitted to use any additional materials – including tape and/or paint.

A few nights ago, Susan Cho, who also witnessed her first Oregon summer in 2014, and I took part in DWR’s annual champagne chair contest.

Our overall concept was to pay tribute to our new home and the many outdoor activities it has to offer during the summer. There was the hammock, the chair inside a tree trunk, the leaf chair and the list went on. Eventually, we landed on one chair that we both were particularly fond of, the tube.

For me, tubing was an experience that happened on the Deschutes River in Bend, OR. For Susan, it was at Opal Lake, a lake not too far from Mt. Jefferson. Tubing was a new word introduced into our East Coast vocabulary. We fell in love with it and decided to base our champagne chair off the tube — The Unsinkable Chair.


Veuve Cliquot kicks off the project and the new year.

All it needs is a polishing and some cables around the tube.

All it needs is a polishing and a tow line around the tube.

Improvised tube cables with the cage of the bottle cork.

Improvised tow line with the cage of the bottle cork.

With the remainings of the cage piercing the cork, we had ourselves the perfect tube.

Tubing. Champagne bottle foil as water. Remaining cork shavings as soil.

Solo shot of the Unsinkable Chair.

The Unsinkable Chair.

And there you have it.

Happy new year!