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Prouvé & André - Garden Chair Designed in 1937 as a collaboration between two important French designers and craftsmen, Jean Prouvé and Jacques André, the Garden Chair was created using a novel combination of steel and acrylic glass. The idea was to apply to furniture, the high-tech innovations that were flourishing in architecture, by which space and levity were implied through the use of glass held together by a skeletal structure.
The result is a rolling confection of curves and corners that would have been the centrepiece of any garden set, bar the minor issue of the weather – the glass was prone to cracking if left in direct sunlight. This of course would not be a problem in London, where direct sunlight hasn’t been seen for many a decade, but was part of the reason why the chair never went into production.
Friedeberg - Hand Chair Hand Chair is the most famous work by contemporary Mexican artist, Pedro Friedeberg, in 1961. Best known for his Surrealist sculptures and prints, his eclectic body of work bridges architectural imagery and psychedelic patterns with occult iconography. Hand Chair melds practical furniture design into the shape of a giant hand.
Beginning in 1957, he studied architecture for three years at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, though he did not complete his degree. Heavily influenced by the teaching and encouragement of artist Mathías Goeritz, Friedeberg went on to become a part of Mexico’s Surrealist art movement.
Breuer - Wassily / Model B3 Chair Marcel Breuer was one of the most important designers of the early modern age. His biography is closely linked to the history of the Bauhaus, founded by Walter Gropius in 1919. The club chair B3, known today as “Wassily” was also created in connection with this renowned institution. lt is the first piece of seating furniture in the history of design to be made from seamless, precision-drawn tubular steel. lts transparency and visible structure are expressions of the stringent aesthetic approach that prevailed in architecture and design following World War I.
Marcel Breuer replaced the massive upholstered corpus of the traditional club chair with a skeleton-like construction made out of bent steel tubing, thereby overcoming the physical weightiness of conventional seating. He exploited the elasticity of the material, complementing it with tautly stretched fabric strips of reinforced canvas for the seat and back. The B3 did not acquire the name “Wassily” until the beginning of the sixties, when the Italian furniture producer Dino Gavina purchased the manufacturing rights: Marcel Breuer had designed the armchair for the house of the painter Wassily Kandinsky, who taught at the Bauhaus from 1922 until 1933.
Gruppo Strum - Pratone The object, seat, and lawn furniture Pratone by the Gruppo Strum (G. Ceretti, P. Derossi, R. Rosso) was designed for Gufram and gives you room to relax and dream between the large blades of grass.
As part of the hippie movement in the 1960s, Pratone is symbolic of a longing for closeness to nature. The material used - polyurethane foam - was first introduced to furniture design in the mid-60s and caused waves. Pratone is possibly the best example of the material's unique qualities being utilised consciously and overtly in the world of design.
Originally designed in 1966, production of Pratone first began in 1971. By 1996, around 60 pieces had been produced, including many that were bought by museums and galleries.
Gehry - Wiggle Side Chair The Wiggle Side Chair was designed in 1972 by Frank Gehry after a group of artists and scientists from NASA called a meeting at artist Robert Irwin’s studio. They had asked architect Gehry to give the place a quick makeover and given the shoestring budget, he came up with something simple yet subtly futuristic: seating made from stacks of cardboard, a humble material he kept around for making models.
“I discovered that by alternating the direction of layers of corrugations, the finished board had enough strength to support a small car, and a uniform, velvety texture on all four sides,” Gehry said. “I found I could cut these edgeboard sections into geometrical forms, or bend them into sculptural, ribbon-candy folds.”
It was also durable, needed no finishing, and had a noise-canceling quality that reportedly cut sound volume in half. Soon, with Irwin’s help, Gehry made a file cabinet and reception desk for his office, which led to the Easy Edges series of shelves, side tables, and, its enduring claim to fame, the Wiggle Side Chair, a narrow slab bent into an S-shaped seat.
While the press and public went wild for what The New York Times Magazine deemed “paper furniture for penny pinchers,” Gehry worried its popularity would eclipse his architecture, so he stopped production of Easy Edges in 1973 and quit cardboard furniture altogether by 1982.
Gray - Transat Chair The Transat chair was designed by Eileen Gray in 1927 for her Villa E 1027 in Italy, on the Côte d'Azur. With an adjustable headrest and occasionally a sling seat, the chair was clearly informed by the simple functionalism of a deck chair, well-suited to her home that was itself intended to evoke a sense of living on a houseboat. The design marks Gray’s transition towards modernism which she embraced during the mid-1920s. The present iconic design is a perfect expression of her individualist approach, in which thoughtfully considered materials, artistic form and engagement with human behaviors are considered in her adoption of basic modernist principles.
The design was produced in small and long versions, with sycamore and lacquered arms, and with canvas, fabric, pony skin and leather seats. Twelve armchairs are known to have been created, and nine to still exist. Of this small group, four are in sycamore and five in lacquer.
Boeri, Katayanagi - Ghost Chair
Designed by Cini Boeri and Tomu Katayanagi for Fiam Italia, Ghost Chair is made entirely from a single, monolithic curved glass giving the illusion of floating. Aptly named because of its transparency, Ghost Chair is made of 12mm thick, gently curved glass, able to support 330 pounds. Manufactured in Italy, Ghost Chair is a true modern design classic and is a part of various permanent museum collections.
Remy - Rag Chair The Rag Chair by Dutch designer, Tejo Remy, is a one of a kind, fully customizable chair made up of old clothing. The chair is the idea of Tejo Remy and is designed for Droog, which is a design company based in the Netherlands. You can send in your own clothes for the design or you can allow the company to use their own. The chair weighs about 55 pounds and is held together with metal straps.
Tejo Remy works as a product, interior and public space designer together with Rene Veenhuizen in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Considering everything as material, Remy incorporates existing information, circumstances, or found goods into new situations, often bringing in more social contact or, telling the story of a particular place. Remy transforms the familiar, yet the feeling remains.
Mendini - Lassu Lassu is one of the "objects for spiritual use" which Alessandro Mendini presented in the periodical Domus when calling for a "guerrilla war" on the inhospitable world of functionalism. The archetypal chair rests on a slanted pyramid, which makes it difficult to sit down on. But once you are sitting on it, you get a new and different view of things.
As a happening the chair was placed in the middle of an open field just outside the Casabella office, doused with gasoline and set on fire. The fire not only symbolized the act of liberation, but also the transitory nature of the object and its message.
Judd - Corner 15 Chair Donald Judd’s first furniture designs were products of necessity. He made his children, Rainer and Flavin, a daybed—two twin mattresses separated by a half-height wall in the middle for privacy—that was soon followed by a desk and, logically, a chair to go with it.
Though he owned some Modernist designs, including a formidable collection of Alvar Aalto pieces, he continued producing furniture simply because he couldn’t find what he was looking for; in the process of creating it, design became a vital part of his diverse creative practice—and a way to synthesize his sculptural and theoretical approach.
“I am often asked if the furniture is art, since almost ten years ago some artists made art that was also furniture. The furniture is furniture and is only art in that architecture, ceramics, textiles, and many things are art. We try to keep the furniture out of art galleries to avoid this confusion, which is far from my thinking. And also to avoid the consequent inflation of the price. I am often told that the furniture is not comfortable, and in that not functional. The source of the question is in the overstuffed bourgeois Victorian furniture, which, as I said, never ceased. The furniture is comfortable to me. Rather than making a chair to sleep in or a machine to live in, it is better to make a bed. A straight chair is best for eating or writing. The third position is standing.” - Judd
Rudolph - Rolling Lounge Chair The Rolling Lounge Chair was designed by Paul Rudolph, one of America’s greatest Modern architects. Rudolph was famous for his strong, expressive forms, powerful spaces, and innovative use of materials & light. A very prolific designer of both architecture and interiors, his active career extended to nearly the end of the 20th century, and across the decades he continued developing his aesthetic and experimenting with space & materials.
Rudolph’s own residences were his “laboratories” for exploring ways to shape space and create dynamic forms. When he was looking for furniture for his own home, he found that there was nothing on the market that would fit well with the interiors he was creating - so he designed his own furniture, of which this chair is a prime example.
Rudolph uses a system of modular components to create furniture of great visual lightness & transparency. In addition, its use of casters makes it very flexible for moving into a variety of room arrangements.
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