By Maya Meakes
Why chairs? “Well, they have arms and legs and vaguely human scale and shape. They’re people - they hold you, support you, elevate you and humble you”. David Byrne, Artist.
1. MIES VAN DER ROHE 'BARCELONA' CHAIR
A symbol of elevated taste, privilege and authority has Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s classic perch become, that it’s now often cast as a character itself (Bartolucci, 2020). In the James Bond film, Casino Royal (2006), the Barcelona chair is spotted making up the empathically eclectic décor of the penthouse of M. The chair is a fusion of form and function, expressing the modern movement, notably regarded as a monumental object over seating.
2. HANS J WEGNER 'FLAG HALYARD' CHAIR
Style: Danish, Mid-century
Created by Danish designer, Hans J Wegner, who came up with the concept on a sunny day at the beach; resulting in him digging a hole in the sand to create a reclining seat position. The Flag Halyard chair is a stand-alone piece that mixes materials and fabrics to maximise its form, function and comfort (Verkerk, 2018). It is one of the visually flamboyant pieces to merge from the Danish, mid-century movement which has flourished its success.
3. CHARLES AND RAY EAMES 'THE EAMES LOUNGECHAIR'
Style: Modern Minimalism
The Eames Lounge chair was a brainchild designed by Ray and Charles Eames. It is one of the most lusted pieces of furniture of the 20th century and continues to be iconic for the timeless design, a design that sets new standards in its field. The intention behind the chairs design was to create a piece of furniture which would offer “a special refuge from the strains of modern living” through comfort and elegance (Dalgado,2020). Thanks to its design, it has taken the chair to many Hollywood movie sets and permanent collections of museums around the world.
4. MARCEL BREUER 'WASSILY' CHAIR
Style: Bauhaus, Minimalism
Breuer was an acclaimed designer whose designs used the least amount of material possible; it was the start of Minimalism. Learning from the Bauhaus, took the cantilevered chairs and bent tubular structures into the minimalist movement to embrace the light airiness of empty space. The creation of seamless steel opened up an entire new world of design possibilities which is why the chair is so iconic today.
5. PIERRE JEANNERET, 'EASY ARMCHAIR'
Easy Armchair Date: 1955
Style: Mid-century Modern
Jeanneret pioneered a new aesthetic vocabulary that placed function and order over embellishment, working geometry of modernism with lighter materials of cane and wood. Jeannerets finest work was created in Chandigarh - where his pieces earned his renown - made simply because the people of Chandigarh needed seats. With its signature compass-shaped legs, it contrasts with his peers championing the Bauhaus movement which has taken an interesting turn for this iconic chair, now making an appearence on many wishlists around the world.