A Bed, a Sofa and a Storage Space

To celebrate The International Romani Day we asked three Roma children to choose objects from the collection of the museum and tell us how they can relate to these items.

By Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest

#International Romani Day #artworks in children’s stories

Meet Brigi and the 'paq' armchair

paq armchairMuseum of Applied Arts, Budapest

Why did I choose this particular item?

Brigi: The first thing that caught my eye was the bright and vibrant colours of the two armchairs,

... and my next thought was that they must be very comfortable.

paq armchairMuseum of Applied Arts, Budapest

I was surprised to find they could be opened. When they are fully spread out, they remind me of the artificial leather mat in the school gym that we tumble on at PE classes, 

paq armchairMuseum of Applied Arts, Budapest

... and folded into a cylinder, they look like of a piece of furniture from my former kindergarten.

If I had a piece of furniture like this, I would spread it out and do exercises on it, but I would mainly use it as an armchair. I would plump in it every afternoon and rest. Its softness would surround me and I would immediately fall asleep.

paq armchairMuseum of Applied Arts, Budapest

The heroine of my story, in which this piece is featured, is a girl named Kata. She has a two-tone, red and blue paq in her room, in which she takes a nap every afternoon. 

The armchair is comfortingly soft, and in its safe embrace, Kata re-dreams the events of the day. She dreams about learning a lot that day at the school, and that she was teased during the breaks. 

She does begin to cry in her sleep. Her mother wakes her up, and they talk about what happened at school, and everything falls into place in the little girl’s head.

Why is the 'paq' armchair an important part of the collection of the Museum of Applied Arts?

paq armchairMuseum of Applied Arts, Budapest

In the second part of the story, Judit Horváth who is the head of the Contemporary Design Collection, describes the 'paq' armchair context, contemporary Hungarian cultural history.

paq armchair, From the collection of: Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest
,
paq armchair, From the collection of: Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest
,
paq armchair, From the collection of: Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest
,
paq armchair, From the collection of: Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest
Show lessRead more

The paq armchair is a mass-produced multifunctional piece of furniture that the owner can freely transform into a bed, a sofa or a closed storage space, in a few simple steps. The two faces of the mat are coloured differently, one is bright, the other grey, with both serving the same purposes. Its designer, Géza Csire folded the foam mattress he used as a bed in his almost empty youthful home into an armchair, which proved a space-saving and economical solution for the need for a bed and a seat.

The paq armchair is a good example of how designer thinking gives multiple functions to the same object, and how innovative solutions often stem from a problem that unfortunately cannot be solved with readily available formulas. A basic element of furnishing became the prototype of a multifunctional piece of furniture, with a minimalist structure that refers back to the original function of the object.

paq armchairMuseum of Applied Arts, Budapest

Having elements optimized for mass production and requiring a limited number of materials, the item is easy and relatively cheap to manufacture, making it accessible for a wide range of customers.

And in this short video, the designer of the paq armchair explains what it means to him that these two items are now part of the collection of the Museum of Applied Arts.

paq armchairMuseum of Applied Arts, Budapest

Credits: Story

The Museum of Applied Arts’ 2024 project was embraced by Tarnabod és mi (TaMi), a charity that, for over a decade, has been in contact with the Roma living in the village of Tarnabod. They organise camps, fun days, cook-outs and mentoring programmes for children with outstanding talents. With the approval of their parents, we share the first names of the children interviewed.

Interview with Brigi and Judit Horváth, PhD

by Katalin Szemere and Sarolta Sztankovics (text)
Sarolta Sztankovics (ed.)

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps