Generous donors to sit in official Rye chairs

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By Mordecai Drache 

Ryerson will soon have an official chair, compliments of one lucky third-year interior design student. 

Sixty-six students submitted potential designs for the chair, and a panel of judges has narrowed the list down to six finalists.  The winning design will be constructed and reproduced, given as token of gratitude to donors who give significant amounts of money to the university.

School chairs are common gifts from universities, said Ryerson’s v.p. university advancement Gordon Cressy.

The students who worked on their designs for the past three weeks and each of their sketches are currently hanging on display in the first floor of the Interior Design Building at 302 Church St.

“There were two stipulations,” said the chair of interior design George Verghese.  “It should not be traditional because Ryerson isn’t traditional, and the [university] crest needs to be on the piece.”

He said the designs should reflect an image of Ryerson as dynamic, progressive, multicultural and urban.

Although the department won’t allow people to take pictures of the designs — Verghese doesn’t want people to copy the drawings because many of the students who don’t win will still try to build and sell their creations — they show a wide array of visions.

Some of the chairs look like they could be in a Victorian home, some are so simple you’d mistake them for your kitchen stool and some look like they belong in the Jetson’s living room.

Parisa Manouchehri, one of the six finalists, will simply carve her chair piece after piece from plywood, “representing the layers and layers of meanings and visions and ethnicities at Ryerson.”

Another finalist, Oleg Mordatch, shaped her chair like an hourglass.

“An hourglass is tied up with time because the educational process is tied up with time,” she said.

The other four finalists are Marc Grossi, Agata Jaworski, Chung Yan Wan and Gang Wu.

Verghese expects the first chair presentation to take palce in March, but doesn’t know who the recipient will be.

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