My last post told the story of my tragic wishbone chair love story. And I touched on my love for iconic chairs there. Currently, I don't own any chairs from my ultimate wish list, but I do have two original JL Moller chairs that I scored on Craigslist for $25 each (you know how some people are great at thrift store and Craiglist finds? yeah, that's not me--those chairs are my only prize). I also have some other really great chairs in my house that aren't necessarily iconic, but they have great structure and history behind them.
One thing I loved about my design school program was how much we were taught about design history. Not only that, but during a study abroad semester, some friends and I made a pact to see as much European design history as possible while there (like the total design history nerds that we are). These two things have created in me a great love for iconic chairs. I need them in my life.
Here are some of the top contenders on my wish list (i.e. if you offered me a pick from any of these, I would find it nearly impossible to choose):
So there it is. The shortened version anyway. You'll notice several are Eames Chairs--designed by the husband and wife duo Charles and Ray Eames. You can read more about them and see more of their works here. Their designs are still in production today, many by Knoll and Herman Miller. You can also find more affordable versions of their products from Baxton Studios. Ikea even makes a translucent cantilevered knock-off.
The great success of iconic pieces such as the ones above is that their creators managed to produce designs that are truly timeless. Many are more than half a century old (some approaching a century) and they looked as if they were created by a modern designer in today's world. This is one of the driving forces behind many of the things I do. I try to pull from many eras of influence, rather than just sticking to modern trends (not that I haven't been caught using them--hey, my bedroom side tables have been painted in chevron for over 2 years).
What is it from history that drives you? What traditions do you hold onto and why? In any area of life--not just design. It's important to know your history, learn from it, and acknowledge your influences!