Iconic Furniture Design

Iconic furniture refers to collections of furniture that have an unusual or quirky design to them, and often these items of furniture are brightly coloured or shaped in different ways which makes them stand out in comparison to other items of furniture. Block patterns on upholstered iconic furniture make them look very bright and original, and often with items like chairs or stools they are made from moulded plastic to give them a very retro appearance.

In the field of iconic furniture Charles Eames is famous for his unique designs, the most popular of which are his collections of plastic moulded chairs which are all made from brightly moulded plastic. These chairs were originally created in 1993 but instead of the plastic they are made from today they were made from fibreglass. Because fibreglass isn’t recyclable the production of these was discontinued later due to more calls for recyclable materials to be used in the industry. However, the revival of these chairs followed the exact same iconic style and shape that made them famous since the 1950’s, but now they are made from polypropylene instead.

In this collection the chairs vary greatly in size and style, starting with the very basic looking Vitra chair which is a very standard shape, but curved on the seat and back rest to make them much more comfortable for your body. The legs on these chairs were then made from a tangle of chrome steel poles and legs to create a modern design. These designs get steadily more unusual however as you look through the collection, and one of the most popular designs in the range is the famous elephant stool. This stool is, as the name suggests, created in the shape of an elephant and has a flat surface on the top that a child can sit on. These were originally made in 1945 out of wood, but never mass produced until very recently where they were made from plastic and in a wide range of different colours which make them treasured items now.

The Wassily Chair by Marcel Breuer is another example of iconic furniture design and the chair is a sunk in seat made from strips of mesh fabric to create a comfortable seat. It is very much like the classic movie directors chair, except the frame is very different and made from metal that then curves around to create a very attractive design that is very pleasing to see. The Barcelona chair from Ludwig Miles van der Rohe is also another example of chair design that has found its place in history, and the long padded leather chair that appear big enough for two people rather than one is well established as a popular piece of iconic furniture in this day and age- it even has a matching ottoman foot rest that is raised up on the same cross shaped metal legs as the chair has which makes it a very attractive, matching design that fits in to many kinds of settings- hence its long term popularity.

Mary J. Gibson

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