TOP 10 Iconic Chairs You MUST know!

Feb 11, 2021


Each object that surrounds us has been the result of the imagination of its creator, not only to beautify a space, but to provide function and make the lives of the people who use it easier. Let’s see 10 iconic design chairs that every design lover should know.


Panton Chair

S-shaped plastic chair created by the Danish designer Verner Panton in the 1960s. The Panton Chair is a classic in the history of furniture design. It was the first chair to be manufactured completely out of plastic in one single piece.

His aim was to create a comfortable, sculptural and innovative chair made in one piece that could be used anywhere. After searching for a manufacturer for several years, Panton came into contact with Vitra in 1963. Together they developed the Panton Chair, which was first presented in 1967.

Due to its expressive and innovative form, this timeless piece is perfect to be used in contemporary spaces. The comfort of this chair results from the combination of a cantilever structure with an anthropomorphic shape and a slightly flexible material. Owning one of these pieces means having a masterpiece of the 20th century, an iconic piece that brings movement and beauty into the space as if it were a sculpture.


Wishbone / CH24 Chair

Essential piece when talking about iconic masterpieces, especially when it comes to the Scandinavian style. It’s a timeless icon of modern Danish designed by Hans Wegner in 1949 for Carl Hansen & Søn.

More than 100 steps are required to manufacture each Wishbone Chair, most of which are carried out by hand. The Wishbone Chair offers comfort and stability as well as satisfying aesthetic desires for distinctive, elegant form. This masterpiece is commonly used in interior design to add warmth, elegance and movement to the space.

Fact: nearly 120 meters of paper cord that gets woven into the Wishbone Chair’s distinctive geometric seat design is said to have a life cycle of approximately 50 years.


The Diamond Chair

In the 1950s when most chairs were made of rigid wood, the innovative Diamond Chair appears, designed by Harry Bertoia. The Diamond Chair is an astounding study in space, form and function by one of the master sculptors of the last century.

Harry Bertoia had a unique and distinctive approach to design. For him, there wasn’t a distinction between sculptures and furniture. Behind that design philosophy, Bertoia created the diamond chair to make space and air a part of them: creating a floating effect. 

Due to its visual lightness, these chairs are ideal to be used in small but stylish spaces. The diamond chair is a fluid, sculptural form made from a welded lattice work of steel that soon became one of the most popular pieces of furniture of the mid-century.

“If you look at these chairs, they are mainly made of air, like sculpture. Space passes right through them.”


Egg Chair

The Egg was designed in a typical Jacobsen style, using state-of-the-art material. Arne Jacobsen designed the “Egg” for the lobby and reception areas of the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. The commission to design every element of the hotel building as well as the furniture was Jacobsen’s grand opportunity to put his theories of integrated design and architecture into practice.

The Egg is available in a wide variety of fabric upholstery as well as leather, always combined with a star shaped base in satin polished aluminium, perfect to add a pop of color, glamour and an organic shape into the space.

Fact: Like a sculptor, Jacobsen first sculpted the Egg out of clay in his garage so he could perfect the shape.


Barcelona Chair

One of the most recognized objects of the 20th century, and an icon of the modern movement, the Barcelona Chair exudes a simple elegance.

The Barcelona Chair was designed for the Germany’s pavilion for the Barcelona World Fair of 1929 by Mies van Der rohe in collaboration with Lilly Reich. His style was deceptively simple with clean lines and to the use of modern materials Under Mies’ (pronounced “Mies’s”) design philosophy “less is more.”, each Barcelona piece is a tribute to the marriage of modern design innovation and exceptional craftsmanship.

The Barcelona chair is very much a statement piece for your home and works really well in a living space or office. The slightly industrial feel of the frame paired with the luxurious leather seat is modern and timeless.

Fact: If you are ever in Barcelona, ​​do not forget to visit the pavilion designed by Mies Mies, there you will find the Barcelona Chair shown in the original space for which it was created.


Eames Plastic Side Chair

One of the most iconic furniture designs of all time: The plastic chair was designed in 1950 by Charles and Ray Eames. When Charles and Ray Eames created this extraordinary object they didn’t think they’d be creating an icon. They just wanted to make something that would be considered “extremely useful” for them and for others.

Nowadays these chairs are everywhere and it’s used as a very common chair, but for those passionate about design, this is one of the brightest points of its history: an authentic timeless icon.

its versatility, simplicity, and shape make it a key piece in interior design, from modern, Scandinavian to contemporary spaces.

Fact: The original model was created for the “International Competition for Low-cost Furniture Design”


Butterfly Chair

The Butterfly chair was designed in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1938 by the architects Antonio Bonet, Juan Kurchan and Jorge Ferrari.

Its style of features a tubular frame and a large sling hung from the frame’s highest points, creating a suspended seat.

Fact: The chair gets the name of BKF chair from the initials of its creators “Bonet-Kurchan-Ferrari”.

The leather and iron low chair is easy to move, easy to clean and very comfortable. This chair is one of the most iconic pieces created in Latin America. Today we can see how it is usually used as a key piece in the most sophisticated and contemporary interior designs.

Fact: more than five million copies were produced in the 1950s.


Eames Lounge Chair

Another iconic piece designed by the coupMade from three pieces of molded plywood and leather, it was a revolutionary design around that time. Not only was it modern and stylish, with smooth curves reflecting the futuristic post-war aesthetic, but plywood had never been used like this before. le Charles and Ray Eames.The 1956 Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman need no introduction. Perhaps the most iconic furniture design of the 20th Century—and representing the ultimate elegance and comfort.

In the 1950s, Charles and Ray took on a project to design a high-end, luxury chair. It was to be modern, stylish and comfortable, thus was born the most iconic piece of all time: the Eames Lounge Chair.

This chair is used in interiors to add style and function, its comfort and sculptural beauty make it a piece that will accompany interior designers for eternity.


Tulip Chair

The Tulip chair was designed by Eero Saarinen in 1957. The chair has smooth lines which characterize the modernist style. It was innovative and experimental with materials for its time.

The chair is considered a classic of industrial design. The shape of the chair resembles the tulip flower coming up from the floor and blooming out, which is how it got its name. The tulip chair is typically used at a dining table or as desk chairs.

The chair is often considered “space age” for its futuristic curvaceous appearance.


Womb Chair

This mid-century classic was designed in 1948 by Eeron Saarinen. Eero was eager to explore the possibilities of chairs that achieved comfort through the shape of its shell through its own shape, not the depth of its cushioning.

The womb chair is one of the most iconic and comfortable chairs of the modern furniture movement.

Like many of Saarinen’s furniture designs, the Womb Chair required production techniques and materials still in the infancy of their existence, which makes it an iconic piece due to its huge innovation and engineering.

This piece is ideal to give the space shape and color. Due to the organic shape and soft lines that make up this design, it is perfect to be used in interiors as an accent piece to be enjoyed from different points and perspectives.

Fact: Saarinen found a boat builder in New Jersey who was experimenting with fiberglass and resin to help develop manufacturing methods for the new womb chair. 


About Zahira Cury

Zahira Cury is an Architect, Interior and Lighting Designer, stylist, founder and creative director of D.Signers Group. She earned a masters in "Lighting Design and Led Technology" in "Politecnico di Milano" in Italy and throughout her love of architecture and interior design, she decided to create the D.Signers Instagram to share extraordinary spaces and inspire worldwide.

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