Icons of an era: classic chair designs

The chair as practical object, style icon, artwork and scientific breakthrough
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Phaidon Design Classic, No. 023

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Phaidon Design Classics, No. 498 (left) & No. 513 (right)

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Of the 999 objects profiled in Phaidon Design Classics - a comprehensive three-volume work covering the designs of key objects from the Industrial Revolution to the beginning of the 21st Century - over 150 are chairs. 

Throughout design history, from Thornet's influential 'bentwood chair', No. 14 (1859), to Chair_One (2003), by Konstantin Grcic, the world's first die-cast aluminum chair-shell, this basic object has been the one to offer designers the greatest opportunities to test out new methods and materials within the set parameters of an object which is, at base level, primarily there to serve a practical purpose.

Every period in history, every style movement and every designer has a chair that bears witness to a moment in time. Phaidon.com selects 18 iconic designs that bear witness to an era.


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