idealize the machine

In 1992 the architectural partnership Holt Hinshaw Pfau Jones modified Le Corbusier’s famous chaise lounge.
1992 chaise

This chair, a mix of chaise lounge and machine, is now part of the permanent collection at SFMOMA. It’s interesting because the concept is still very relevant today. In an essay titled “Soups Up . . .” (as in ‘souping up’ a hot rod’) they talked about the danger that “human emotional maturity with respect to technological development lagged far behind”. They were concerned about the possibility that “humans could accept the machine as a normal extension and glorification of their humanity”. The essay argued that the abstraction and alienation of the machine is a good thing. To avoid losing our humanity it’s better to put technology on a pedestal, to treat it as separate from ourselves. The Corbu chair was originally shown in 1929 as a “machine for sitting”. The Holt Hinshaw Pfau Jones interpretation was to emphasize and idealize the machine aspect of the chair beyond functionality.