As discussed in the previous posts, many architects have tried their hand in furniture design. Most never made it off the drawing board, some were made into prototypes, but relatively few ever made it into production. Fortunately, many of these are excellent pieces. This post serves as survey of some of my favorites.
|LeCorbusier's Sling Chair, Grand Modele Sofa,|
Chaise Lounge, and Low Table
|Jacobsen's Ant Chair|
Arnie Jacobsen's mid-century classic ant chairs are still in production and available in a number of variations of the originals three legged design. Jacobsen summized that having a single leg in front would minimize the conflict between the leg of the chair and the legs of the seated occupant. Jacobsen is responsible for numerous classic furniture pieces, including the egg chair, the swan chair, and the Series 3300 sofa.
|Eileen Gray Side Table, Light Tube, and Bibendum Chair|
Eileen Gray is best known as the designer of the classic side table that bears her name. In her time Gray was a well known as an innovative designer of interiors. As an extension of this practice, she also designed furniture and lighting. Her work, long under appreciated, is now much sought after by collectors.
|Saarinen's Tulip Table and Chairs|
Eero Saarinen, son of the celebrated architect Eliel and textile designer Loja Saarinen, was a gifted designer who began designing furniture while still a teenager. Teamed with another protégée of Cranbrook Academy, Charles Eames, the team won MOMA's Organic Design in Home Furnishings competition in 1940. Saarinen went on to design iconic furniture for Herman Miller, including the classic Tulip Table and Chairs, and the Womb Chair.
|Eames Desk, Credenza, and Executive Chair|
|Rapson Rapid Rocker|
|Venturi's Chippendale Chairs|
|Gehrey's Outdoor Furniture Set|
Deconstructivist architects have also tried their hand at furniture design. Gehry's early furniture experimentation with the cardboard squiggle chair mirrored his architectural experimentation with chain link and corrugated steel. Later fame, and the corresponding swelling budgets, have changed the cladding of his buildings to stainless steel and titanium. His furniture has likewise echoed this level of sophistication, as exemplified in his reinforced aluminum pieces manufactured for Heller.
As you can probably tell, I love this stuff and could go on and on..... but I won't. It's time to leave this topic and go on to the next area of exploration - Architecture and Bicycles. No, seriously. Join me next time for Peletons and Break Aways.