Save Me a Seat
This has to be one of my favorite mid-century modern chairs. Other than just being my favorite, it also has the distinction of being one of the early stacking chairs.
This is the Landi chair designed by Hans Coray in 1938. The design won a competition held by the Swiss Parks authority to be the official seating for the Swiss National Exhibition. Among the judges were the modernist giants, Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier. The chair was so popular that it was used again at the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels and is still in production today (albeit with some design modifications).
Although the chair is in major museum collections, it’s a little difficult to find much information on it. One of the best sources is an amazing book on aluminum from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum here in New York. It’s called Aluminum by Design: From Jewelry to Jets. You can also usually find information about specific pieces of furniture in more general books. One of my favorite design historians, Penny Sparke mentions the Landi chair in her book, Furniture: Twentieth-century Design. She writes about the fact that as post-war homes became increasingly smaller, the stacking feature of the Landi chairs would become a model for many other stacking chairs.
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