(jiří macek) Two weeks ago, you were served a huge portion of the most interesting dining chairs. More chairs simply had to follow. The lunch plates have already been laid.
Let us start with the legendary pieces. It is fascinating to see how many years ago some of the chairs that we still admire today were designed. Although we usually admire their shapes, their exceptionality is often grounded in their revolutionary structure and production technology.
Even though the wave of plastic called the Panton Chair from 1960 does not overly surprise us with its stability and solidity, and neither does the molded wood of the Thonet 14 chair that was designed by Michael Thonet in 1859 (which was the first chair ever produced in a series), they both still fascinate us. So does the plywood tripod called the Ant Chair that was designed by Arne Jacobsen (Fritz Hansen, 1952), the plastic Eames Chairs designed by Ray and Charles Eames (Vitra, 1950) with several versions of the socle, and the legendary, tender, and cosmic piece called the Tulio that was designed by Eero Saarinen (Knoll, 1956).
These chairs formed the face of the time in which they were created and are still able to endow any interior design with a charismatic face. It is as if the technical beauty of the Standard Chair from French designer and engineer Jean Prouvé (1930) had matured only recently. Moreover, so has the HOWE 4/40 similarly matured – one of the purest and most elegant stackable chairs in the world. David Rolland designed this chair in 1964, a piece of furniture that looks so discreet at first sight. As for legendary Czech chairs, we simply must mention the H79 that was designed by Halabala in 1931. UP závody started manufacturing it last year again.
The category of modern classics includes all the chairs that enriched the portfolios of various companies only a couple of years ago, but have already managed to find their place in the encyclopedias of modern design in an unobtrusive way, like Moloko on the pop charts. The minimalist SIM chairs by Jasper Morrison (Vitra) and the 04 chairs by Maarten von Severen (Vitra) are exemplary samples of combining simple shapes with perfect technology and details.
The plastic Louis Ghost chair, designed by Phillip Starck, starts a new chapter of formal mannerism. So does the charred Smoke chair by Maarten Bass, the felt throne in the form of the VIP Chair by Marcel Wanders (Moooi), and the brilliant Jenette chair designed by the Campana brothers (Edra) with a wicker backrest that pleasantly adjusts to the sitter. In all of these chairs, the form and the function perfectly complement each other.
The metal One Chair, designed by Konstantin Grcic for Magis, illustrates this perfect complementarity. At first sight, this chair is rather unshapely and sculpturesque. However, in reality, it is an unexpectedly comfortable chair for outdoor seating that does not retain water.
And now, the present. It is surprising to see that the development in the well-worn assignment for a new chair shape has not stopped and that we can look at new ideas, approaches, and shapes every year. The plastic stackable Myto chair by Konstantin Grcic (Plank), the Mr. Impossible chair by Phillip Starck with hollow plastic legs (Kartell), and the Carbon Chair by Marcel Wanders and Bertjan Pot (Moooi) shift this development into the future thanks to their manifestation and technology of carbon fibre molding. It is great to see new names emerging next to the stars of design every year.
The PS chair, designed by Chris Martin for IKEA, uses waste wood in its manufacturing. When sitting on it, one can even rock a bit. Even though Marie Aurore Stikker-Metral is still a student, her sheetmetal chair named La Pliee has found its significant place in this year’s catalogue of Ligne Roset. In addition, although the wire Klára chair by Klára Šípková (UP závody) is more of a sculpture, its structure is fascinating because of its diverging wire contour lines. The sheetmetal Stitch chair by Adam Goodrum (Cappellini) is an illusion of changing interiors. The individual planes fold by means of simple hinges. Its bright colors evoke a rainbow; they are really beautiful…the never-ending story continues.
Apart from the photos in this text, we recommend that you have a look at the chairs in the product catalogue of www.designguide.cz. If you have fallen for chairs, go have a look at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein and its collection. It is really great.