DP Design: Bringing Cosm to Life

The Singapore interior design studio presented their vision of Cosm at the Asia launch of Herman Miller’s exciting new office chair. Find out about the creativity behind their unique take on Cosm in the context of the home

DP Design used grids and lines to bring Cosm to life

Herman Miller’s new Cosm chair launched in Asia on 19 September 2018, with an event and a creative exhibition at the XTRA showroom in Singapore. As part of the exhibition, DP Design, a branch of DP Architects that specialises in interiors, presented a creative installation that showed the office chair in the context of the home.

Designed by Studio 7.5, Cosm’s innovative tilt and suspension systems and its flexible frame combine for a chair that responds to your weight – giving you a feeling of weightlessness. This was something DP Design conveyed through their fun, original display, which also showcased Cosm’s personality – something it has by the bucket load. Here, Calliope Lee, associate at the design studio, explains the ideas behind the team’s installation, and their creative process.

The creative minds at DP Design who worked on the installation for Cosm’s Singapore launch

How did you translate Cosm into the home environment?

We decided to give Cosm an identity, as a person. We started with an artist, and we thought about creating an apartment for him. Artists usually see colours but in this case, we picked more of a modern setting, more city-like, a space that is more black-and-white, in silhouettes and forms. From there, we brought in the rest of the items we needed for the space.

DP Design’s concept for their Cosm showcase

DP Design envisioned an artist’s home for Cosm’s Singapore launch, focusing on the living room, dining room, bathroom and terrace

Could you please tell us about the grid concept you introduced?

We created a whole grid of space. You can see for the walls we used grid lines to demarcate the space. We chose very light and clean furniture and accessories. And instead of a regular sofa or regular bed or regular table, we actually used forms, silhouettes and grid lines to create the furniture.

From the artist’s point of view, we wanted to create a silhouette of space and form. The backdrop you can see it’s all in grid work and line work. That’s actually the foreground for the space. For the furniture, we purposely created them in silhouettes as well, so in forms and black lines, to let the [Cosm] chair pop.

Cosm in the context of the home, as seen by DP Design

How did you convey Cosm in the home environment?

Working with the original tagline from Cosm’s exhibition, For You Everyone, we wanted to curate a space for humans. For us as human beings, we either spend time at work, or at home. Every day, we go to this place we call home.

We created a person [to inhabit the home we created]; a guy who is an artist. We initially thought of doing a residence with normal furniture, but we realised that would just be regarded as a furniture showroom. We wanted to do something different.

So we had the idea of creating an artist’s life through forms and silhouettes, and after that use certain colours or elements of the chairs to make the artist’s presence pop.

Sketches from DP Design

What was the creative process like? How did you go from ideas to reality?

We wanted to create an apartment. We thought we should give our guy an identity and we thought an artist would be suitable for this exhibition. We didn’t really want to create a residential showroom of a space; we wanted to make it more exhibition-style. We therefore used unique furniture and other quirky items to create the form of this space. We also created four different environments for the artist: the master bedroom, the evergreen balcony, the bubble bath and the dream dining area.

DP Design personified Cosm as the artist, representing this character in the comfort of their home

What were the challenges of working on this kind of project?

We wanted to create an apartment, a residential space, but we’re actually using an office chair. We thought, “How can we put an office chair in an apartment setting?” So we tweaked the idea: instead of displaying the chair as part of the furniture in the apartment, we gave the chair personality, imbuing the presence of the artist in the chair. So, when you walk through the space, you won’t see a human being, but you’ll see the chair. And the chair is the artist using that particular space.

What do you like best about the space you created and the way you have brought Cosm’s world to life?

It’s actually quite hard to choose which space I like, because there are four really unique spaces in our exhibition. In each of the four spaces, you can see four different things. For example, in the garden, instead of the usual black, office chair, we used the Cosm chair in Mineral, and we used green grass as a backdrop. It pops very well; the colours really complement each other.

Then there’s the Canyon colour, which is red. In a food setting, the most energetic colour we could use was red. So we floated the red chair, we made it anti-gravity, and then we floated other elements, like a red fish, which swims by the artist, represented as the red chair. This is one of the spaces I really liked.

Cosm in Canyon hangs from the ceiling, demonstrating just how dynamic this desk chair really is

What would you like visitors to take away from your set-up at the XTRA showroom?

We created a space with an artist in mind. We aren’t really creating a residential space, we’re creating more like silhouettes and forms. We’re giving people the idea of allowing themselves to dream and to realise there are different ways of doing things. We conveyed this by creating a space that dreams about the different ways of using an office chair, the ways that we can use colours, the ways that we can use grid lines and forms just to create a space.

What do you like best about Cosm? What sums it up for you?

During this exhibition, we had a lot of discussions about different directions. But one thing stuck: lose yourself.

An office chair is with us for eight or nine hours every single day. We need something that is hugging us, something we can lean on, something to let loose. So when it came to losing ourselves, we did this in various ways.

If you take a look at the dining corner, where we actually hung up a red Canyon chair, it’s quite different from just placing it on the floor. That’s our way of allowing ourselves to dream, and let loose on ourselves.

Click here to find out more about Cosm!

Guests at the Singapore launch explore DP Design’s creative display

Guests at the Singapore launch get comfortable with DP Design’s installation