Every year, the Chair Affair is hosted by the University of Idaho and Interior Designers of Idaho to bring together talented designers (specifically interior design students) for a gala that glorifies the LITERAL blood, sweat and tears that went into the making of a furniture piece that is a required for all Interior Design students that attend the University of Idaho. Blood—from accidentally sawing through your finger with an X-Acto knife during the small-scale model making process. Sweat—from hand-sanding a piece for 8-hours at a time. AND Tears—many, many, tears for fear that you bit-off more than you could chew with the complexity of your furniture design. Or maybe these were all just me during my furniture-making process? Who really knows, but regardless students work HARD on these pieces!
This year was a formal gala with cocktail attire required for entry, and as you might expect, this type of dress-code is sometimes quite hard for Idahoans to grasp. The event was $25, which seems a little steep for an event designed for students, but I’m sure that renting the space in JUMP isn’t cheap. It’s a huuuuuge step up from where my class’ Chair Affair was held–at The Water Cooler event center (which has thankfully been bulldozed to the ground in order to make room for The Water Cooler Apartments, a new urban apartment complex in the downtown area. Basically, my year, Chair affair was in a small, damp, dark, kinda smelly 10’x30’ room where it was hard to mingle and maneuver around the large furniture pieces. Contrasted with the 7th floor of one of the coolest buildings in downtown Boise, a well-lit, airy event center with views of the sun setting on the horizon of West Boise.
This was actually the first event I ever attended at JUMP, an all-encompassing event space that is totally the first of its kind in Boise, ID. We showed up to the event thinking that drinks were free, but apparently “no-host bar” isn’t as intuitive as it sounds. Us millennials learned something new here, “no host bar” doesn’t mean “open bar” where there’s no host and you can pour yourself any amount of alcohol you choose. In fact, “no host bar” means that the host of the event doesn’t pay for drinks. Who would have guessed that “no host” meant there actually is a host at the bar and they’re charging eight dollars per drink… I guess it’s a misconception to all millennials because all my friends and I went expecting free drinks all night. Put this knowledge in the back of your brain for future reference: NO HOST BAR MEANS YOU PAY FOR YOUR DRINKS. HOSTED BAR MEANS DRINKS ARE PAID FOR BY THE HOST.
We scanned the room with our “People’s Choice” tickets, voting for whichever furniture item we felt deserved an award. Though it was hard to choose between the amazing talent spotlighted in the room, my favorite design was a funky hardwood table with random square-inlays of varying colors and wood grains. This piece didn’t receive an award, but I tend to have a very different style/opinion than most people. I loved going around to all the furniture items and “petting” them to feel whether the student was diligent enough to sand the piece down to the point of perfection. There is something so sensual and sexy about wood when it’s sanded to the right softness. Don’t mind me while I nerd-out on hardwoods! 😉
There were many artists from the community spanning the fields of Art, Architecture, Furniture design, Graphic Design, Interior Design as well as Stage Designers as well as many well-known community members that are known for donating vast amounts of money to Boise’s art, culture and education scenes. Many people talked of their entrepreneurial ventures within the design community and there were many familiar faces from my time at University of Idaho. It was great to meet up with old professors and fellow students to see what everyone’s doing a few years down the road from college. I loved discovering where these stirring people are at in their lives, and was inspired to see their authentic cravings for making Boise a more “creative” place. Keep it up people! 🙂