Tag Archive | Sit On It

Eye On Design: Royal Festival Hall Chair By Robin Day

Royal Festival Hall Chair
All Photos By Gail

Robin Day’s prizewinning design for the Royal Festival Hall chair, created for entry into MoMA’s 1948 International Low-Cost Furniture Competition, helped to launch his career as an industrial designer. Day enjoyed a long-term consultancy with Hille, the chair’s manufacturer, as well as the establishment of a studio with his future wife, Lucienne.

Royal Festival Hall Chair

Epitomizing  the contemporary style and technological innovation of the 1951 Festival of Britain, the chair was featured in the couple’s Home and Gardens pavilion as well as in the lounge of the new Royal Festival. The chair also appeared in that year’s Milan Triennale and was soon put into production for an international market

Royal Festival Hall Chair

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, The Value of Good Design, on View at The Museum of Modern Art Through June 15th, 2019.

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Eye On Design: Inflatable Chair By William H. Miller Jr.

Inflatable Chair
All Photos By Gail

Composed of Vinylite and manufactured by a chemical company (Gallowhur Chemical Corp. of Windsor, VT) this Inflatable Chair (1944) typifies the application of innovative materials and production techniques — heightened during wartime — to domestic products. Designer William H. Miller was an employee of Gallowhur Chemical.

Inflatable Chair

During World War II, Miller collaborated with a cousin of Franklin D. Roosevelt to design a pocket-sized water-desalination device that became standard equipment for Army and Navy Fliers.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit The Value of Good Design, On View Through June 15th, 2019 at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Inflatable Chair Installation View
Installation View

Eye On Design: Fredrikson Stallard, Armchair Species II

Species II Installation View
All Photos By Gail

This bright red armchair that looks like it was chiseled from a boulder is actually sculpted from polyurethane foam and upholstered in a brushed velvet-like polyester, making it quite a comfortable place to rest. This chair (Species II circa 2015) is part of the Species series by London-based design duo Fredrikson Stallard, following their study in evolution through the media of furniture design. The designers claim that the chair was “created with a brute force that is at odds with ideas of comfort or human contact, yet so inviting by the nature of its materials.” I think anyone can see what they are getting at.

Species II Armchair

The pieces are further described as “amorphous structures, elements of sculpted mass, chaotic energy, finished in shades of red, as for Fredrikson Stallard these are the colors of life and death. Something along the lines of – “It couldn’t happen here, but then it did.” This is very much furniture, but not as we know it.

Fredrikson Stallard, Armchair Species III

Fredrikson Stallard’s Armchair Species II (2015) was Photographed in the Booth for the David Gill Gallery (London) at the Salon Art and Design, NYC, in November of 2018. Limited Edition, Direct Inquiries to David Gill Gallery Dot Com.

Species II Installation View

Eye On Design: Cast Glass Chairs By Marc Newson

Marc Newson Glass Chairs
All Photos By Gail

From the outset of his singular career, designer Marc Newson has pursued parallel activities in limited and mass production of functional design objects. Revisiting his roots as a jeweler and silversmith in an exhibition at Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea, Newson explores increasingly rare decorative techniques at an unconventionally large, even unprecedented, scale.

Marc Newson Glass Chairs

Newson’s Cast Glass Chairs (2017), made in the Czech Republic, are continuous symmetrical forms comprised of two hollow quarter-spheres. The boldly colored upper halves rest on clear bases, which absorb some of the reflected hues in their clouded interiors, an effect that subtly changes depending on the viewer’s vantage point.

Marc Newson Glass Chairs
When You Just Get Tired of Waiting for that Final Person to Move Out Of Your Way

Photographed in the Gagosian Gallery, Located at 522 West 21st Street, Chelsea Gallery District, NYC· The Chairs are on View in the Gallery as Part of a Larger Exhibition of Newson’s Limited-Edition Furniture and Artworks, Through February 20th, 2019.

Marc Newson Glass Chairs

Eye On Design: Chippendale Side Chair Circa 1772

Chippendale Side Chair
All Photos By Gail

Around 1748, the young British furniture maker Thomas Chippendale moved from his home in Yorkshire to London, a cosmopolitan city full of opportunity but also stiff competition in the luxury trades. Although there was no guarantee that his business would succeed, within a decade “Chippendale” had become a household name and a hallmark of quality British Furniture.

Chippendale Side Chair Seat Detail
Red Morocco Leather Seat Upholstery, Detail

This classically inspired, fan-shaped chair back with a central medallion draped in garlands is one of the few examples of furniture that can be securely attributed to the workshop of Thomas Chippendale. This Chippendale Side Chair was made as part of a set of fourteen for the politician Daniel Lascelles (17121795) at Goldsborough Hall, Yorkshire.

Chippendale Side Chair

Executed from Mahogany in the neoclassical style, the chair illustrates how Chippendale kept-up-to date-on the latest fashions and tastes of his clients. His workshop created similar sets of neoclassical chairs, including one for Daniel’s brother Edwin at Harewood House, where Chippendale collaborated with the famous architect, Robert Adam (17281792).

Chippendale Side Chair
Chippendale Side Chair, Installation View

Chippendale’s designs spread throughout the British Empire, following the routes of the nation’s expanding maritime trade and colonization of North America and the Caribbean. As talented craftsmen and consumers adopted his design and aesthetic, blending them with their own local traditions, the name Chippendale came to refer not only to a prominent local cabinetmaker but also to an enduring style, one that has played a central role in British and American furniture design for more than 250 years.

Photographed as Part of The Exhibit: Chippendale’s Director: The Designs and Legacy of Furniture Maker at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Verner Panton’s Heart Cone Chair

Heart Cone Chair
All Photos By Gail

In Verner Panton’s Notes on Color, the Danish designer stated:

“In Kindergarten, one learns to love and use colors. Later on, at school and in life, one learns something called taste. For most people, this means limiting their use of colors.”

Heart Cone Chair

The design career of Verner Panton (19261998) reached its first peak toward the end of the 1950s. With a furniture series based on simple geometric shapes, Panton anticipated elements of Pop Art, while also emulating the elegance of Scandinavian Modernism in the execution of the bases.

Heart Cone Chair

The most famous designs from this series are the Cone Chair and the Heart Cone Chair (1959). The Heart Cone Chair takes its name from its heart-shaped silhouette. The extended wings of the backrest are reminiscent of Mickey Mouse ears, but can also be interpreted as a contemporary development of the classic wingback chair.

Heart Cone Chair

Photographed at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in NYC.

Eye On Design: Nobody’s Perfect Chair By Gaetano Pesce

Nobody's Perfect Chair
Photos By Gail

Gaetano Pesce’s playful Nobody’s Perfect chair (2001) embodies diversity within standardization. Following simple guidelines, the maker pours pigmented resin into a mold to achieve a random quantity and mix of colors. The back of this chair presents an excellent example of the phenomena of Pareidolia, which encouragee you to see an image resembling a face.

Nobody's Perfect Chair

The liquid resin is hardened into the furniture’s components, which are later assembled with pegs.

Nobody's Perfect Chair

The ‘face’ that the back of this chair resembles is quite fun!

Photographed in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in Manhattan.