Things I Like: XI (Chairs!)

There are anime nerds.

from sodahead

And video game nerds.

from youtubepoop

And science nerds. (or do they prefer “geeks”?)

from neil

And trivia nerds.

from wilcowart

Don’t forget your general all-around nerds.

from thenerdsignal

While I dabble in a few other nerd brackets, I’m unabashedly a chair nerd.

from favim

When I was in college, one of my favorite courses was History of the Decorative Arts, which was a class that mostly focused on things you can sit on.

Oh, there were breakfronts, secretaries, and the odd side table or two.

But what I fell hard for were the chairs.

from photograhpersdirect

Now, when I see a classic chair, I get more excited that if you told me I could have free blueberry donuts for a year.

from thehotwatermusic

Yes, that excited.

When Wonder Woman and I were in New York City recently, we visited the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). There were some Picassos, Van Goghs, a Frida Kahlo, and 2 very large Monets, just to name a few notable exhibits.

But when I walked into the furniture exhibit and saw Mackintosh’s Argyle Chair, I almost wet my pants and cried. At the same time.

from kathysheartandseoul

It was pathetic.

I thought I’d share that nerdly joy with you lucky folks today. The following are a few of my favorite chairs of all time and a bit of history for each. (because who doesn’t like chair history?!)

Hill House Chair by Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Hill House Chair

The Hill House Chair was designed for–you guessed it–the Hill House in Scotland. Specifically, it was designed for the “White Bedroom” in the Hill House. It was not designed to be functional, but rather to be purely decorative.

Mackintosh was an interior designer who, when he designed a space, designed everything in the space–down to the furnishings and flatware.

Barcelona Chair by Mies van der Rohe

Barcelona Chair

Designed for the King and Queen of Spain it was premiered at the 1929 World Exposition in Barcelona.

Mies is the man who remarked that “God is in the details.” The Bacelona Chair reflects this exquisitely.

It’s a perfect cube: 3′ x 3′ x 3′.

from geometryofdesign

The tufted rectangles are in root 2 rectangle proportions, even after the upholstery was applied to the chair. The principal curve of the chair legs and chair back is created by a circle with a radius equal to the radius of the seat. The curve of the back leg is equal to one half of the curve of the others.

from geometryofdesign

It’s amazing.

Tulip Chair by Eero Saarinen

Tulip Chair

This was designed in 1955 & 1956 for the Knoll Company to match the complimentary table.

You might recognize them from the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

from geektress

(that’s Star Trek, for all you non-nerds out there)

Taliesin West Chair by Frank Lloyd Wright

Taliesin West Chair

Fabricated from one 4′ x 8′ piece of plywood to look like origami, this chair was designed in 1949 for Wright’s residence/architecture school Taliesin West.

I used to think that “Taliesin” would be a neat name for a child. Although I also thought that about the names “Desirae,” “Nebraska,” “Destiny,” and “Coco Divine.”

Thankfully I have no children.

Bertoia Diamond Lounge Chair by Harry Bertoia

Bertoia Diamond Lounge Chair

Bertoia began working for the Knoll family in 1950. He was allowed the freedom to used whatever materials he wished to design with, which is why we now have the Bertoia Seating Collection, completed in 1952 and made of steel rods.

After finishing the Seating Collection, Bertoia focused mainly on sculpture.

Wing Chair by Hans Wegner

Wing Chair

This chair looks deceptively small. When you sit in it, you feel like Jack at the top of the beanstalk, chilling out until you feel like hunting down that golden-egg-laying goose. This insight comes from personal experience.

Though designed in 1960, this chair was not produced until 2006.

Chippendale Chair by Thomas Chippendale

Chinese Chippendale Chairs

Infinite variations of the 18th century Chippendale chair exist. The ones show here are Chinese Chippendale (one of the most famous variations) made with chrome, instead of wood.

Swan Chair by Arne Jacobsen

Swan Chair

The innovative technology of 1958 allowed Jacobsen to bend materials into shapes previously impossible, and thus was born the Swan Chair. Designed for the SAS Royal Hotel of Copenhagen, it allowed guests to swivel in their chairs and become more involved in their surroundings.

Argyle Chair by Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Argyle Chair

Designed for the Luncheon Room in the famous Argyle Street Tearoom in Glasgow, Scotland, Mackintosh designed the cutout in the center to look like a flying bird. The chairs are tall, and make each table feel more intimate and secluded.

LC4 Chaise Lounge by Le Corbusier

LC4 Chaise Lounge

One of the first “ergonomic” chairs, this chaise slides to have an infinite number of positions. In 1928, when it was designed, it was called “the relaxing machine.”

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the chairs I love. You don’t have the time to read that list.

suck it, martha.

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Categories: Things I Like


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6 Comments on “Things I Like: XI (Chairs!)”

  1. Wonder Woman
    June 20, 2012 at 6:43 am #

    I remember walking for hours upon hours in Barcelona just to visit the Mies van de Rohe museum and look at Barcelona Chairs. Then we happened upon a hotel that had them in the lobby. They were divine to sit on.

    • June 20, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

      Also one of my favorite memories. Though the ones in the hotel weren’t original–the ones we found after hours of walking were! I can die happy now.

  2. Earth Momma
    June 20, 2012 at 6:43 am #

    The barcelona and the wing chair are my faves. I’m glad you had such and amazing experience yesterday.

    • June 20, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

      It was really wonderful to sit in all of them. I felt like I was walking around in DWR (Design Within Reach–look it up!).

  3. November 22, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    Just a tip – I bought a few really inexpensive small carpet dots
    a few days ago and attached them to the bottom of the feet of my dining area chairs.

    No more scraping along the floor when our daughter uses them as
    a walker!

    • November 22, 2013 at 10:13 am #

      I love that idea! Thanks for sharing.

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