Written in 2006
-------- Introduction to Chair Design Essay
History of the Chair
Comparisons and Contrast between the Designers I Have Chosen
My Personal opinions
Introduction to Chair Design Essay
We have been assigned an essay to write on either chair or lighting design. I have chosen Chair Design in which I am going to write about two designers of my choice and the history of the chair. I have chosen Philippe Starck and Ron Arad. Philippe Starck started his profession in Paris where as Ron Arad started his in Tel Aviv. Philippe Starck design rustic modern furniture where as Ron Arad design many different styles of furniture. I feel that Philippe Starck is a well thought out person who designs furniture that would stand out well in any area and Ron Arad; I feel that he is almost the same except he has his own thoughts and aspirations. I am going to start my essay with the history of the chair.
History of the Chair
The Chair has been an article of state and dignity rather than an article of ordinary use for many centuries and indeed for thousands of years. It wasn’t until the 16th century that the chair became common. The number of chairs which have survived from an earlier date is extremely limited; most of such examples are of clerical or seigneurial origin. Chairs in Egypt appeared to have been of great richness and brilliance, decorated with ebony and ivory or of carved and gilded wood and then covered with expensive materials and supported upon representations of the legs of beasts. The earliest monuments of Nineveh represent a chair without a back but with attractively carved legs ending in lions’ claws or bulls’ hoofs. The chair of Maximian in the cathedral of Ravenna is believed to date from the middle of the 6th Century. It is made of marble, has a high back and is round and is carved in high liberation with saints and scenes from the Gospels. The smaller spaces are filled with carvings of animals, birds, flowers and leaved decoration. The chair speedily came into general use soon after the idea of privilege faded. We find that almost at once began to reflect the fashions of the hour. No one piece of furniture has ever been so close an index to regulating changes. It has varied in shape, size and strength with the fashion not only of women’s dress but men’s too.
Philippe Starck was born in Paris, France in 1949 and remembers spending his childhood around his father’s drawing boards spending hours sawing, cutting, gluing, sanding and so on. He spent a whole lifetime taking apart and putting together whatever comes to hand. He studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Dècoratifs in Paris from 1966 – 1968. He started his first company in 1968 designing inflatable furniture. From the beginning of the 1980’s he has been very successful in creating designs which have been made by huge companies. Starck is also an interior designer as well as a product designer. In the late 1970’s is when he began to become famous for his profession and was when he was asked by President Mitterrand to change life at the Elysées Palace and changed the Café Costes into Le Café in 1984 which became famous because of the three legged chair he designed for the interior. He was commissioned to design the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Dècoratifs in Paris, the Control Tower at Bordeaux airport and a waste recycling plant in Paris metropolitan area. In the 1900’s he had devoted much of his life to...
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