MAD OR WHAT.....?!

How about looking at bicycle handlebars and thinking, "hang on, that gives me an idea for a chair....", which is exactly what furniture designer Marcel Brueur did with his Wassily Chair! The tubular steel handlebars of his beloved Adler bike, inspired him to apply the same design to his chair, which he designed between 1925-1926 while Head of Carpentry at the Bauhaus school.   It was possible at the time because German steel manufacturers, Mannesmann had perfected the process for making seamless steel tubing - this was essential for the chair design to work, because a seam in the steel would collapse where bends occurred.

It wasn't designed for artist Wassily Kandinsky, as popular belief would have it, but rather, Kandinsky admired the prototype and Brueur subsequently made a duplicate for him.  Originally manufactured as the Model B3 chair, it later became known as the Wassily Chair.

Similiarly, furniture designer Eileen Gray looked to the curves of the Michelin Tyre Man for inspiration when designing her Bibendum Armchair in the early 1900's.  The chair's backrest consists of two semi-circular padded tubes upholstered in soft leather.  Gray was commissioned to design the furnishings for the apartment of Madame Mathieu-Levy and she was determined that her creations would reflect her client's personality, ie, that of a young, modern society-hostess and proprietor of a fashionable millinery boutique. Her statement chair was like nothing ever seen before and was heralded by art critics as "a triumph of modern living".

Who would look at a cone shape and immediately see the design for a chair? Furniture designer Verner Panton did just that and this is immediately apparent when one looks at the dainty little chair,designed in 1958.

OTHER UNUSUAL INSPIRATIONS FOR CHAIRS INCLUDE:

The Womb Chair: It's inspiration came from Florence Knoll who approached it's designer, Eero Saarinen with an idea for a lounge chair that she could wrap herself in and be enveloped by....The result was the iconic Womb Chair, designed in 1946.

 

The Teddy Bear chair, designed by Hans Wegner and inspired by the paws of a Teddy Bear!

The DSR chair ( Eiffel chair ), designed by Charles Eames, metal legs were inspired by the Eiffel Tower!

The Orange Slice Chair, designed by Pierre Paulin  and inspired by the curved outline of an orange segment!

BlogCarol-Anne Leyden