Designers have always been obsessed with the chair. Its the focal point of any discussion around industrial design and the fascination with the chair can be observed throughout design history as the pinnacle of any interior design movement.
We use chairs everyday- from the drinking our coffee first thing in the morning, where we sit on our commute to work, our entire day at work usually revolves around the chair we’re sat in – be it at the desk in the office, the stool in the studio or the places you have your meetings. Even the most energetic of us come home and sit on the sofa after a long day, or eat dinner at a table somewhere – sitting down is a crucial part of our lives!
The chair is an object originally and fundamentally created for function. Once the functionality of the chair is achieved, the form can be manipulated and pushed to the extreme – as long as it’s primary function remains at the core. If you can no longer sit on the object, it is no longer performing as a chair or seat. Usually, designers are looking to provide some level of comfort into this function – enabling ease of use and practicality.
However, we’ve all seen examples of chairs that definitely haven’t been designed with comfort as a priority – in fact, nearly all of us will have experienced an uncomfortable seat! Some chairs celebrate form over function and are aesthetically stunning, whereas other seating options are designed with specific user requirements in mind.
For example, the seating at a bus stop; designed to be practical, hardwearing, easy to clean and hard to damage or break. Comfort isn’t the priority for this type of seating as it should only be used for a short amount of time per user, however it must be able to be used frequently by many different users throughout the timetabled bus services.
Alternatively, seating for offices must prioritise the comfort and wellbeing of the user as the desk chairs will be used for a long amount of time by the same person.
The design world is constantly looking at new ways of using, manipulating and transforming materials to perform useful tasks. From luxurious thrones to stackable plastic school chairs, essentially all chairs are the same tool, with vastly different appearances.
We’ve created a gallery of some our favourite seating designs – from your everyday to the more high-end, we’ve even included some of the seating options from our own projects. Sit back and enjoy!