July 13, 2018

Cindy Allen Shares Her 10 Favorite Chairs

From vintage-modern to tech-meets-innovation, chairs in all their vast range have always been a complete obsession for me. So when Chair: 500 Designs That Matter (Phaidon) landed on my desk it was like being a kid in a candy store full of chairs! 
I dove, scoured, and studied all 500… and was hard-pressed to pick my favorites. I could have selected at least 100 easily, but here are my ten top picks! Follow me on Instagram at @thecindygram for more of my favorite designs!

Floor Chair, Model 1211-C (1950) by Alexey Brodovitch.

Russian-born Alexey Brodovitch knows how to make an exceptionally beautiful chair out of nothing: in this case, standard sheets of plywood and rope! By the way, he was awarded third place in the International Competition for Low Cost Furniture Design at MoMA.

Bellevue Chair (1951) by André Bloc.

Inspired by André Bloc’s Bellevue House in Meudon, France, this chair is curvy and lightweight! I’m also drawn to this chair because you can customize the color, although I’m a real sucker for the red…

Distex Lounge Chair (1953) by Gio Ponti.

Gio Ponti’s Distex Lounge Chair is the postwar poster child for Italian innovation and technology and it’s the one we all covet today. P.S. The name comes from the type of nylon used for the fabric—it’s durable, easy to work with, and fashionable. Molta bella!

GJ Chair (1963) by Grete Jalk.

I swoon for anything sculptural. Grete Jalk worked with cabinetmaker Poul Jeppesen for this plywood chair, and they took home first place in the Daily Mail’s International Furniture Competition. Only 300 were ever made, but it was issued by Lange Production in 2008 so there are more to go around!

Folding Chair (1929) by Jean Prouvé.

Prouvé has always been a master metalsmith, using artistry and craftsmanship but never forgetting practicality and function. I mean, does this even look like a folding chair to you?!

Tube Chair (1970) by Joe Colombo.

Roll on ovah! I always love a project, and Colombo designed these chairs to be just that. In fact, they come as four tubes in a drawstring bag, and it’s up to the user to put it together! They could sprawl out, sit up, or even connect it to other sets. Opportunities are endless and that’s why this chair never gets old.

Harp Chair (1968) by Jørgen Høvelskov.

This one makes me want to sing! Originally inspired by the bow of a Viking ship, the Harp Chair is a Modernist sculpture that supports and conforms to the body.

Embryo Chair (1988) by Marc Newson.

Hooray to Marc Newson for always pushing the boundaries of technology! In this case, it was stretching a wooden structure into a sequence of curves, something that was very tricky to do back then.

Diamond Chair (2008) by Oki Sato of Nendo.

Science? Technology? Design? All three? Yep! Oki Sato is always innovating. This chair was based on the atomic structure of a diamond, using powder sintering (a rapid prototyping technology) to transform polyamide particles into a hard mold. A complex process, but a simply impeccable and quite beautiful design!

Hemp Chair (2011) by Werner Aisslinger.

A chair made from Hemp? Heck yeah! This one’s all about collaboration–between German designer Werner Aisslinger and chemical company BASF. And talk about using what’s around you… this chair was created from a formed sheet of material composed of 70% natural fiber.

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