1000 Chairs (Taschen 25)

Charlotte Fiell, Peter Fiell

Published by Taschen, 2005
ISBN 10: 382284103X / ISBN 13: 9783822841037
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Synopsis: The ubiquitous chair in all its shapes and forms (TASCHEN's 25th anniversary special edition) More than any other piece of furniture, the chair has been subjected to the wildest dreams of the designers. The particular curve of a back-rest, or the twist of a leg, the angle of a seat or the colour of the entire artefact all reflect the stylistic consciousness of each era. From Gerrit Rietveld and Alvar Aalto via Verner Panton to Eva Zeisel; from Art Nouveau to International Style, from Pop Art to Postmodernism, the phenomenon of the chair is so complex that it requires a reference work as comprehensive as this to do it full justice. They are all here: Thonet's bentwood chairs and Hoffmann's sitting-machines, Marcel Breuer's Wassily chair and Ron Arad's avant garde armchairs. The book, a slightly abbreviated version of our classic title 1000 Chairs, devotes one page to each chair, displayed on its own as pure form, with biographical and historical information about the chair.

Review: Sleek, stuffed, buttoned, or bent, in the den or the dining room, the chair is an indicator of its owner's identity. Chairs make up much of the interior landscape of our homes and workplaces, and a comfortable chair is considered a great asset in either location. A rigorous survey of the last 150 years of chairs, 1000 Chairs is a pictorial guide to the axiom "you are where you sit." Writers Charlotte and Peter Fiell argue that, as well as being an icon of identity, the chair is a form through which designers engage in social, political, and even ergonomic rhetoric. A good example is George Nelson's mass-produced modular seating system. Geometrical in design, its austere, mostly rectilinear lines are efficient and economical. The book follows developments and mutations in chair design from the days before art deco through the rise of modernity and into the mid-'90s, when designers like Philippe Starck used such materials as recycled plastic and injection molded polypropylene.

In total there are more than the 1000 advertised illustrations, and each is accompanied by a small text describing the significance of the chair and its designer. The book includes more than 100 capsule biographies of such designers as Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Adolph Loos, and Marcel Breuer. The only problem with 1000 Chairs is, ironically, its own ergonomics. At about eight by six inches and nearly 800 pages, it is an unwieldy little tome. That aside, this is a great book--a must for anyone interested in sitting down. --Loren E. Baldwin

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Bibliographic Details

Title: 1000 Chairs (Taschen 25)
Publisher: Taschen
Publication Date: 2005
Book Condition: Good
Edition: 25 Edition.

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