Who's Casper
19 September 2016

What do you get when you ask 16, high profile artists, designers, architects and illustrators to customise a cork stool to help support refugees?

Who’s Casper? reveals the bright the bold and the beautiful - 16 Casper stools designed by some of the most illustrious creatives of our time.

When Michael Sodeau designed a stool made from recycled cork, he added to its simple silhouette, two holes that would make the stool easier to move around. These two little holes became eyes and suddenly Casper was born. The anthropomorphic touch that lent Casper an embryonic personality led to a collaboration with Movement on the Ground, a foundation that supports refugees by identifying gaps in available aid and providing practical support.

10% of the profits from the sale of every Casper stool go directly towards providing safety, shelter, food, water and medical aid to refugees.

Casper is a true collaboration between design and refugee support. The stool cleverly highlights a key component in crisis situations - eye contact.” - Dylan Ingham – CoFounder Movement on the Ground.

Who’s Casper? will see 16 unique designs on show at designjunction before being sold in an online auction with all proceeds going to Movement on the Ground.

Every design has developed Casper’s playful personality and focused on a different aspect of his individuality and of the refugee crisis. From illustration, graffiti, abstract pattern, typography and simple sculpture, interpretations range from a Casper that looks as if he has stepped out of a Tove Jansson illustration to a Casper that shimmers in gold.

Generous contributors who braved the challenge include designers; Tom Dixon, Ross Lovegrove, Sir Kenneth Grange and Moritz Waldemeyer, artists; Barnaby Barford, Jon Burgerman, Anthony Burrill, Nicholas Burrows, Alex Chinneck and James Joyce, architects; Autoban, Studio Egret West and Snarkitecture and illustrators; Vic Lee, Esther Cox and Chrissie Macdonald.

Each stool is being exhibited at Modus’ stand at designjunction and bidding is open now at www.whoscasper.co.uk

Bid for your favourite design and grab the chance to acquire your very own piece of art in the knowledge that all funds contribute directly to supporting refugees.

Every Casper is being exhibited and sold without revealing its creator so that all bids are made on the merit of the design rather than the name of its creator. This anonymity also aims to highlight the anonymity endured by every individual caught up in the refugee crisis.

Here’s what some of the designers had to say when faced with the challenge:

“A first meeting with this very welcome and useful product doesn’t - ingeniously, by the designer I’m sure - doesn’t explain the holes.

So, disregarding their usefulness - for moving it around – they looked immediately like a pair

of eyes and all I’ve done is make them show moods of happiness and despair with some more holes”

“I thought about what the stool might want to say and in turn say something that we all want to say”

“I’ve always been keen on anthropomorphism so as Casper already has quite a personality I’ve simply amplified it a little. Using the material as inspiration I’ve created a playful kit of parts that attach like drawing pins on a cork board, including a wind-up key to suggest how he gets around.”

“I loved the character of the Casper stool and wanted to share how I saw characters dancing all over it”

“Casper's 'life jacket' represents the work of Movement on the Ground and is an image of safety, warmth and shelter. With these basic needs met Casper is free to reveal his personality in a riotous pattern expressing hope and joy.”

“It’s based around everyone being a VIP. To someone every human is important. The stool represents a

place of importance, no matter who sits on it, and this is true of those escaping terrible situations. More so, as

children and parents rely on each other for support. There is also elements of safety, of greenery and land, of a

broken chain and a compass to guide. With half dressed as the fragility of a wooden planked boat - but overall

a message of positivity in adverse conditions.”

“I am delighted to do something to help raise money for Movement on the Ground, a foundation who’s aims I wholeheartedly support.”

“Sitting with Casper for a day, it was hard to get away from his very obvious eyes. I thought I’d use those as the starting point for a composition, creating an abstracted/fractured design that can also be read as two faces.”

“I just wrapped Casper in a space blanket. The gold ones are hard to find these days so I donated one that I’ve kept for years. Its relation to the refugee crisis hopefully is reflexive and self-evident and I hope that it raises some money to support people who lives are completely dislocated, directly, indirectly by our actions.”

Casper is lots of fun but he has a serious purpose. A further seven designs will be revealed over the next few days and all 16 can be seen next to Modus’ stand at designjunction. Bid for your favourite online at www.whoscasper.co.uk and get yourself a truly unique piece of art that contributes directly to supporting displaced individuals in a practical way, providing safety, shelter, warmth, food, water and medical aid.

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