Chairs are often regarded as the most representative design codes, and they are also an important symbol of design style changes and technological development, so that whether architects or designers want to stay in history, they must design at least one. Classic chairs to prove their design value.
Unlike most chairs, the cantilever design is not supported by the typical four legs, but by an I-shaped structure, which is only connected to one side of the chair. Whether it is steel, wood or plastic, the cantilever design gives people an impression of almost resisting gravity, ingenious and graceful, as if being supported by an invisible air column.
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From the steel cantilever chair in the 1920s and 1930s, to the Panton Chair in the 60s, to today’s EVO-C Chair, whether it is the innovation and functionalism of the former; the sexy and fashionable of the latter, the advent of the cantilever chair The iterations have shown the material progress of each era, the infinite exploration of mechanics and the endless creative inspiration of design masters.
1.1920s The Bauhaus classic remains
Every innovative design work seems to be inseparable from the background of Bauhaus, and the cantilever chair is the same.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and his Brno armchair
Mies van der Rohe, the creator of the "Less is more" concept, believes that cantilever furniture perfectly conforms to his design philosophy. Through the design challenges the form of gravity, it effectively reduces the cumbersome structure and achieves the most creative minimalist aesthetics. .
Knoll Brno armchair
He continued to explore the capabilities of steel pipes and the possibility of cantilever structures, creating classics such as the Brno armchair.
Knoll Brno armchair
Marcel Breuer, a designer born in Hungary, was an early student of the Bauhaus. He was only 23 years old at the time. It is said that he was inspired by bicycle frames and became interested in the application of tubular steel in furniture design.
Marcel Breuer with his Cesca chair
In 1928, Breuer showed his cantilever chair. This version was named S32 without armrests and S64 with armrests, also known as Cesca chairs, produced by furniture brand Thonet. S32's curved tubular steel frame shape, this structure does not require the traditional four-leg structure, and gives the chair the characteristic of floating.
Thonet S32V cantilever chair
Material selection and design are in contrast with other versions. Breuer's S32V/S64V seat and backrest are woven with wicker, which was once decorated with Thonet's famous No. 14 bentwood chair.
Thonet S64 cantilever armchair
His design presents a typical simplified, clear form, rejecting any unnecessary decoration. The woven wicker fabric highlights the lightness of the cantilever while emphasizing the naturalistic design concept.
2. 1930s Re-interpretation of design masters
After entering the 1930s, the design of the cantilever chair still attracts many design masters to meet the challenge. The Dutch style architect Gerrit t Rietveld created the zigzag chair (Z-shaped chair) that he can recognize at a glance in 1934, showing his understanding of abstract shapes and colors.
Although in essence, the Z-shaped chair is undoubtedly another form of expression of the cantilever chair. But in it, the problem of structural mechanics is solved by a group of wooden panels, which creates an eye-catching sculptural shape.
In the late 1930s, another design master met this difficult challenge and once again changed the development direction of the cantilever chair. Finnish designer Alvar Aalto opposed the use of cold steel pipes and turned the focus to a softer and more natural material—the properties of wood.
He adopted a more human-centered seating design method, using strong, bendable, steamy birch wood into cantilever chairs such as the No. 42 armchair, the No. 406 armchair, and the No. 43 lounge chair.
The material of the cantilever chair changed from steel to wood to plastic with the update of technology, and the Panton Chair was born. It is the first cantilever design made of a single continuous molded plastic, designed by the Danish architect Verner Panton, and the first chair named after the designer.
Its anthropomorphic shape and slightly flexible polypropylene shell give this chair great comfort. With Vitra's years of industrial technological innovation and persistence, the production of Panton chair has made great progress. Until today, it It is still the most eye-catching existence in the space.
3. 2020s The new bloom of cantilever chair
The new release of the cantilever chair in 2021 is the Vitra EVO-C chair-a hollow load-bearing structure made of 100% recyclable polypropylene.
With ergonomic size and arc, you can experience good stability and comfort.
Technological innovation means that today's plastic structures can achieve the same strength and stiffness as steel pipes, opening up new possibilities for cantilever chairs. As a cantilever chair made of all plastic, it still has good elastic characteristics and is strong and durable.
A variety of color options are suitable for indoor environments such as study rooms, cafes, dining areas, etc.; it can also be used as an outdoor chair with a long service life.
The birth of each cantilever chair is not only a vane of new materials and new technologies, but also an important carrier that carries the revolutionary creative thinking of design masters. I believe that your encounter with the cantilever chair is by no means accidental. Once you own it, you will open a “design dialogue” that spans time and space with the designers and craftsmen behind it.