The Cool House: 1970s Chairs: Simple to Ornate

Sunday, April 27, 2008

1970s Chairs: Simple to Ornate

Mario Bellini’s Cab chair is one of the seven design pieces The Financial Times picked to represent Design decade: 1970s. A seemingly simple design, the chair's steel frame is encased in leather, an idea that has been copied often since, which gives it clean, modern lines and a timeless quality that belies its seventies origin.
I love this design but I found the original Cab chairs hard on the backside over the course of a dinner party. When it came to choosing chairs to go with the Le Corbusier LC6 table for our dining room I wanted a more forgiving version. I found one, unfortunately without the iconic front leg zipper but still Italian and in black leather but more importantly with a much more forgiving seat.

At the opposite end of the 70s design spectrum, Alessandro Mendini's Proust Chair is a colorful and ornate homage to the French: Louis XV style, impressionist Signac-inspired fabric and of course Marcel Proust himself. At one time I wouldn't have understood this design, now I covet its overblown glory.

Read the Financial Times Design Decade:1970s article here, but take note that the FT managed to place the photo of the 1976 Cab Chair on the subsequent 1978 paragraph on the Proust armchair. Any easy cut and paste mistake to make but a pretty obvious one I would have thought.

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