Tag Archives: kenna kay

Brief Notes: Photos from Illustration/Design Within Reach event

DWR chair collab window

Bradford Shellhammer has posted a set great photos (taken by Michael Devito) of December’s opening of the Parsons Illustration/Design Within Reach Bellini Chair collaboration at DWR’s space in the Meatpacking District. There are some fantastic shots of both the event and the re-imagined chairs.

Kenna Kay, Steven Guarnaccia, and Bradford Shellhammer
DWR chairs on view
Chairs on View in Chelsea

View the entire set here and several other photos of the individual chairs here! Many thanks to Bradford and Michael for documenting this exciting event.

Illustration//Design Within Reach Bellini Chair project gets written up in Interior Design magazine

bellini chairs at design within reach

Interior Design magazine recently featured a brief write-up of the Bellini Chair collaboration between Illustration students and Design Within Reach. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Sari Widman won first prize for her Fluff chair, which encapsulates a Bellini chair in wire, fabric, and cotton. “I have a bit of a fantasy of being hugged and carried around by a huge, fluffy white monster when I get stressed out or tired,” says Widman. “I wanted to make a chair that would feel like that, and also the opportunity to build something because I draw all the time but rarely get to work in three dimensions.” Other winning designs include See no Sit by Chris Yip and This is Where by Christina Young.

Read the rest of the article here and don’t forget that the chairs are on view until January 20th, so there’s still a chance to see them in person! Congratulations to Sari and all the other Illustration students involved and thanks again to Kenna Kay and Bradford Shellhammer of Design Within Reach for facilitating this exciting project.

Design Within Reach
408 West 14th Street
(between 9th and 10th Ave.)
New York, NY 10014
[photo by Michael DiVito]

Reminder: Reception for Illustration’s Collaboration with Design Within Reach


The New School’s Weekly Observer included a write-up of Bellini chair creative project that Illustration Department students have been working on over the course of the semester. Here’s an excerpt:

Re-imagining the Chair is a semester-long project of the Beyond Editorial course, taught by Parsons faculty member and alumna Kenna Kay. The course explores the ever-expanding realm of illustration, going beyond the traditional boundaries of the printed page to look at toys, animation, clothing, skateboards, and food packaging. The project was developed with Bradford Shane Shellhammer, the studio proprietor and blogger for Design Within Reach, who is also a student in Parsons’ AAS program.

For the project, students were asked to reexamine an everyday object, the chair, taking into account the experience of sitting, the usefulness of the object, the human form, social conventions, style and culture. The design could be personal, political or fanciful, as long as it makes the viewer think about the chair “in all its chairness.”

Read the rest of the article here, as well as the other write-ups on this blog, located here & here. Additionally, don’t forget the opening reception which happens in just a couple of days!

Re-Imagining the chair
Wednesday, December 12, 7-9pm
DWR West 14th Studio
408 West 14th Street
New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212.242.9449

Illustration students written up in Design Notes

rej ahmed bellini chair

A Commentary on Laziness, Rejwan Ahmed

There’s a great account of the collaboration between Parsons Illustration’s Bellini chair project and Design Within Reach in the most recent issue of DWR’s newsletter, Design Notes, which reaches a whopping 400,000 readers. Bradford Shellhammer discusses the genesis of the project and how it all plays out. Here’s an excerpt:

The class took some time to warm up to the chairs. Skateboards are instantly recognizable by undergrads, but most had yet to even purchase a new chair. [Kenna] Kay, who works by day as a creative director for TV Land, instructed them to research the history of the chair and follow up with a design statement. Steps were mapped out: Move from statement to sketch to model to final design. During each stage we met for a classroom critique. We talked openly and honestly about each idea and encouraged students to refine and better articulate their designs.

The first round of sketches included such diverse ideas as covering the chair in cushions and peacock feathers or attaching a bent spine to the chair to illustrate the negative impact a seated position can have on the human back. Some ideas were political and thought provoking, others were purely decorative. Some students had impressive concepts from day one, while others grew stronger and stronger with each passing week. Some ideas stuck (the chair with the spine) and some fell by the wayside (sayonara, peacock feathers), but all have remained truly original. The designs are as diverse as the students who created them.

Read the entirety of Bradford’s account, as well as see more images of the students’ work, in Design Notes and don’t forget about the exhibition of the completed chairs, which opens with a reception on December 12th and continues through January 20th.

Illustration & Design Within Reach Collaborate!

bellini chair specs

Students in Kenna Kay’s Beyond Editorial class have teamed up with Design Within Reach to produce their own renditions of a design icon–the Bellini Chair. Here’s the official announcement about Design Within Reach’s celebratory reception, which takes place next week:


Parson’s design students deserve a sitting ovation!

Once again, Parsons’ students have raised the bar with their well-tapped imaginations and fearless style. Incorporating materials of their choosing, students from Parsons’ Illustration department will exhibit their own inspired interpretations of the simple yet virtuous Bellini Chair by Heller. Using the Bellini as a blank canvas, students started with an idea on paper and finished the project fabricating a full-scale prototype. The students will join us for a reception at the West 14th Studio to share with you the fruits of their labor.

The “re-imagined” chairs will be critiqued by an esteemed panel of judges, including Alan Heller of Heller and floor covering designer Sandy Chilewich. Chairs will be exhibited in Studio through the month of January. Refreshments will be served.


Congratulations to all the students involved and thanks to Design Within Reach (and especially Bradford Shellhammer) for approaching the Illustration Department with the offer to participate in this fantastic project!

Re-Imagining the chair
Wednesday, December 12, 7-9pm
DWR West 14th Studio
408 West 14th Street
New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212.242.9449