Throughout the 20th century, furniture grew more than just a functional design. Within the thoughtful and artistic eye of a few head designers, furniture would be encouraged by architectural designs and developed to convert into a kind of art. Boca do Lobo Blog catches a look at the leading furniture designers who not only explored audacious works throughout their season but who also produced iconic forms that represented an age and beyond.
Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris – also known as Le Corbusier – was a Swiss-French architect and furniture designer famed for his metropolitan plan designs such as the Unité d’Habitation in France and restructuring Chandigarh, the capital for Indian states Punjab and Haryana. Le Corbusier proceeded to provide innovative architectural projects during his career, including in the field of furniture design. He founded his own furniture design company in 1928 with a standout collection, including a set of lounge chairs through a collaborative alliance with Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret.
Marcel Breuer began operating in Berlin before moving to the US in 1937; he finally started up his own practice in 1946. It was his Wassily Chair, that got him attention. A clean break from the more popular heavy furniture designs at the time, the Wassily Chair’s light structure was encouraged by the stable tubular iron more so used for bikes, a forward-thinking style that presently personified his Bauhaus roots.
Although first denied to assist Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand’s determination would make her gain a well-deserved place at the furniture design studio where she was an important partner in producing Corbusier’s chair collection, with standout pieces such as the Grand Confort. After leaving Corbusier’s studio in 1937, the French furniture designer and architect would proceed to produce her designs with a solid artistic by utilizing a mixture of elements to her work.
Charles and Ray Eames
Charles and Ray Eames ruled the furniture design scene in the US from the early 1950s to the 1970s, and they are most well-known for their Eames Lounge and Ottoman chairs. Although the duo traversed into different artistic projects such as photography, film and other architectural experiments, the power couple is famous for their important benefactions in building modern works within the US. The furniture design of Charles and Ray Eames would assist as an incentive for other leading furniture designers during their time.
Vico Magistretti began his design career by developing metropolitan projects in the city of Milan. He made the progress from industrial design to furniture in the 1950s and extended his career through partnering with many furniture companies. Magistretti is noted as one of the leading Italian furniture designers of the mid-20th century as he won accolades for his effort.
Danish architect and furniture designer Arne Jacobson is best distinguished for his iconic egg-shaped chair that has apparently been usurped into other design trends throughout the years. Encouraged by the designs and elements used by the Eameses, Jacobson soon started to go from the world of architecture to furniture design in the 1950s, fulfilling a diversity of fashionable and light chairs of which famous pieces such as the Egg Chair would reach the test of time.
Florence Knoll Bassett
Bassett joined the furniture design business with distinguished years of experience in architecture. It was when she moved to New York and met her husband, Hans Knoll, that she chose to try into the furniture business. Applying her experience in architecture, she used space and contemporary techniques to the company’s furniture set. Although Hans Knoll would pass away, Bassett proceeded to drive the company and its regular efforts, sealing its victory as a preeminent company that established successful and iconic furniture from the 1950s-1960s.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Mies (as he is often referred to) was a German-American most known for his minimalist architectural achievements. He also designed two of the most iconic (and widely copied) seating pieces of the 20th Century, the Barcelona Chair and the Brno Chair.
With his incredibly prolific portfolio of architecture, sculpture, furniture and design, the late Oscar Niemeyer truly left his mark on Brazil, and the world, over his 104 years. The Brazilian great is proof that quantity needn’t destroy quality.
Written by: Catarina Carmo