For those in the know, the chair is often regarded as the business card of any designer. More aesthetically appealing than tables, wardrobes, or kitchen furniture, their prescribed functionality also provides an opportunity to explore the boundaries between art and practicality.
50 Years of Chair Design (29 September 2010 - 13 March 2011), a comprehensive new show at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (MKG), Hamburg, features over 100 chairs, chaise longues and stools dating from the 1960s to the present day. The show illustrates one of the most exciting periods in the history of design and the chair as contemporary witness, and includes some of the most iconic designs of the past half century.
Highlights include Gaetano Pesce's Donna (1969), which is both a comfortable armchair and a biting political criticism of women's role in modern society - a reflection of a time characterised by post-War prosperity and burgeoning social unrest. Frank Gehry's Wiggle Dining Chair (1972) is a trendsetting design constructed from corrugated cardboard at a time when there was a loss of confidence in the oil industry and manufacturing.