I selected the Wunda Chair as my object of focus for a series of 50 renders. The Wunda Chair is an apparatus developed by Joseph Pilates as part of his Contrology system, which many of us know today as Pilates. Like his various other apparatus, the Wunda Chair has an interesting and iterative history as practitioners explore and innovate upon its incredible nuances; and even in the midst of this, the original design has basically stayed intact. It is my favorite apparatus to use in my personal practice, and to teach my clients- this unassuming cube really packs a punch!
Thinking about the term render in context to the Wunda Chair, I came upon several approaches to this prompt: its rich history within iteration, its physical form, the physical body as applied to it, the textual and verbal expression of it, and the absurdity and humor of it. My renders were deeper dives into those areas.
Highlights and Thoughts of Note
Rendering the Wunda Chair experience and the “why” of the exercise itself across different orientations is intrinsic to the Pilates practice, and in itself a wonderful example of ideation and prototyping. I tried to explore this through various representations of the exercises and the Wunda Chair.
The materiality of the Wunda Chair is vital to one’s experience on it. I am personally biased to wooden apparatus- not just because I was trained on them- but because it is referential to its history and reflects the mission of Pilates- functional movement. I wanted to highlight this in various renders. What I love about these rendering in particular is that it demonstrates the iterative nature of Pilates, and its accessibility and equitability.
It was really interesting how unfulfilling creating 2D renders were to create . This is truly an object to be interacted with, not observed!
Regarding its absurdity, one cannot ignore that this thing literally looks like a medieval torture device or a prop in some naughty dungeon… I know you’re all thinking it! It is something I have begun exploring in my art-making practice, and I included some rough ideas around these connections, taking it into a more pop art approach by playing with color. I also just love the simple but effective juxtaposition of real medieval torture devices put into the mix of renders.