Three Cheers for Chairs (But Maybe Not For Long)


Chairs do as much for our egos as they do our asses. True, they serve as place for us to lounge, yet they also offer a superb sense of superiority over anyone who doesn’t have as posh a perch as we do. And in her piece “Chairs sitting pretty as a design icon, but for how long?Alice Rawsthorn traces another role of of chairs: As our most celebrated design artifacts. She praises their importance as a “condensed history of design” but then asks if their heyday may be nearing an end:

Will the chair remain as important to design in the future? Probably not. That’s not because collectors will suddenly stop fighting over them at auctions, and design museums will start to de-accession them, but because other areas of design will be perceived as equally interesting and important, if not more so.

So what’s next? Rawsthorn suggests “elastic” design like the products of the MIT Media Lab. But then where will we sit and look cool?