Tracing half a century of chair design

Sit back and enjoy the show
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Joe Colombo, Elda Chair (1963)

1 / 22 Joe Colombo, Elda Chair (1963)

Günter Beltzig, Floris chair (1967)

2 / 22 Günter Beltzig, Floris chair (1967)

De Pas, D'Urbino, Lomazzi and Scolari, Blow Chair (1968)

3 / 22 De Pas, D'Urbino, Lomazzi and Scolari, Blow Chair (1968)

Stefan Wewerka, Classroom Chair (1970)

4 / 22 Stefan Wewerka, Classroom Chair (1970)

Frank Gehry, Wiggle Side Chair (1972)

5 / 22 Frank Gehry, Wiggle Side Chair (1972)

Alessandro Mendini, Tues Poltrona Proust (1978) Milan

6 / 22 Alessandro Mendini, Tues Poltrona Proust (1978) Milan

Ron Arad, Well Tempered Chair (1986)

7 / 22 Ron Arad, Well Tempered Chair (1986)

Marc Newson, Embryo Chair (1988)

8 / 22 Marc Newson, Embryo Chair (1988)

Marc Newson, Wooden Chair (1990)

9 / 22 Marc Newson, Wooden Chair (1990)

Tom Dixon, S-Chair (1991)

10 / 22 Tom Dixon, S-Chair (1991)

Fernando and Humberto Campana, Favela Armchair (1991)

11 / 22 Fernando and Humberto Campana, Favela Armchair (1991)

Fernando and Humberto Campana, Vermelha Armchair, (1991)

12 / 22 Fernando and Humberto Campana, Vermelha Armchair, (1991)

Tokujin Yoshioka, Honey-Pop Armchair (2000)

13 / 22 Tokujin Yoshioka, Honey-Pop Armchair (2000)

Fernando & Humberto Campana, Multidao Chair (2004)

14 / 22 Fernando & Humberto Campana, Multidao Chair (2004)

Fernando and Humberto Campana, Corallo Chair (2004)

15 / 22 Fernando and Humberto Campana, Corallo Chair (2004)

Patrick Jouin, C2 Solid Chair (2004)

16 / 22 Patrick Jouin, C2 Solid Chair (2004)

Louise Campbell, Veryround Armchair (2006)

17 / 22 Louise Campbell, Veryround Armchair (2006)

Tord Boontje, Petit Jardin Chair (2006)

18 / 22 Tord Boontje, Petit Jardin Chair (2006)

Joris Laarman, Bone Chair (2006)

19 / 22 Joris Laarman, Bone Chair (2006)

Riccardo Blumer and Matteo Borghi, Origami Chair (2007)

20 / 22 Riccardo Blumer and Matteo Borghi, Origami Chair (2007)

Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Vegetal Chair (2008)

21 / 22 Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Vegetal Chair (2008)

Vladi Rapaport, Skull Chair prototype and Brain Ottoman (2008)

22 / 22 Vladi Rapaport, Skull Chair prototype and Brain Ottoman (2008)


For those in the know, the chair is often regarded as the business card of any designer. More aesthetically appealing than tables, wardrobes, or kitchen furniture, their prescribed functionality also provides an opportunity to explore the boundaries between art and practicality.

50 Years of Chair Design (29 September 2010 - 13 March 2011), a comprehensive new show at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (MKG), Hamburg, features over 100 chairs, chaise longues and stools dating from the 1960s to the present day. The show illustrates one of the most exciting periods in the history of design and the chair as contemporary witness, and includes some of the most iconic designs of the past half century.

Highlights include Gaetano Pesce's Donna (1969), which is both a comfortable armchair and a biting political criticism of women's role in modern society - a reflection of a time characterised by post-War prosperity and burgeoning social unrest. Frank Gehry's Wiggle Dining Chair (1972) is a trendsetting design constructed from corrugated cardboard at a time when there was a loss of confidence in the oil industry and manufacturing. 


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