Toshiba Space Chair Project

Toshiba has sent an armchair to an altitude of 99,268 feet above the Nevada Black Rock Desert to capture the ‘highest’ high-definition commercial in the world. ‘Space Chair’ builds on the success of 2008’s record-breaking ‘Timesculpture’ ad campaign, recreating Simon Faithfull’s Escape Vehicle No. 6 short film using Toshiba cameras.

Toshiba Space Chair

The ad features two exciting new products. The REGZA SV Series is the first-ever Toshiba LCD TV to combine Toshiba’s Resolution+ technology and an LED backlight – delivering stunning high quality images that enhances the viewers’ armchair experience. Offering the performance and functionality of full-sized laptops with portability and a battery life of up to eleven hours, the Satellite T Series frees users from the shackles of their desks, empowering them to explore new environments.

Shot in the wilderness of the Nevada Black Rock desert, the Space Chair advertisement follows the journey of an ordinary living room chair to the extraordinary heights of the edge of space, lifted to an altitude of 98,268 feet by a simple helium balloon. The film is cinematic, opening with a shot of the solitary chair silhouetted against the Nevada sunrise and taking the viewer on its journey above the desert, into the clouds and beyond.

Click on the image below to play the video.


The Space Chair project was developed at Grey London by creative director Andy Amadeo.

Filming was shot by director Andy Amadeo via Hungry Man, New York/Los Angeles, with executive producer Matt Buels, line producer Matt Jones, and director of photography Haris Zambarloukos.

Editor was Russell Icke at The Whitehouse Post.

Post production was done at The Mill.

The shoot was made possible via the construction of a unique custom-built camera rig engineered by John Powell of JP Aerospace – experts in this field who have successfully sent over 100 balloons into the upper atmosphere. A specially created full-sized model chair made of biodegradable balsa wood; light enough to make the 83 minute journey up towards space was tied to the rig and launched by the team.

Four independent GPS systems were placed on the rig to accurately record its height at any second to within 4 meters in altitude, and within 30cm in longitude and latitude position. This information was transmitted every 15 seconds back to ground control where it was monitored via a computer satellite system to enable the team to locate the rig once it had fallen back to earth.

Click on the image below to play the behind-the-scenes video.

Escape Vehicle No 6

As mentioned in the comment below, the Space Chair Project is a remaking of the Escape Vehicle No. 6 project by Simon Faithfull, commissioned by The Arts Catalyst for its 2004 Artists Airshow. A live audience witnessed the launching of a weather balloon with a domestic chair dangling in space beneath it. Once the apparatus had disappeared into the sky, they then watched a live video relay from the weather balloon on a giant screen as it journeyed from the ground to the edge of space (30km up).

Recently shown during “Gravity Sucks”, a British Film Institute exhibition in London (July-August 2009), the 25 minute footage shows the chair first rushing away from the fields and roads, ascending through clouds and finally (against the curvature of the earth and the blackness of space) beginning to disintegrate. The chilling nature of the film is that the empty chair invites the audience to imagine taking a journey to an uninhabitable realm where it is impossible to breathe, the temperature is minus 60 below and the sky now resembles the blackness of space.

Click on the image below to play the video.

Pocket Lint asked the Toshiba marketing group about the video and received the following response: “Simon was absolutely part of the team. We were obviously inspired by what he had done”.