History Lesson: Swan Chair

“Before the Swan Chair (1958), Arne Jacobsen’s architecture and designs were shaped by an assumption of materials’ natural ways of resisting. In other words, he could make them go only so far in becoming the structures he desired. With new technologies, however, the old rules no longer applied, and he was able to shape fluid curves and single-piece molded shells. The Swan Chair is now made from polyurethane foam, but at the time, Jacobsen used Styropore® to create its continuous shape. Designed for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, for which Jacobsen was the architect, the chair permitted guests to spin on its swivel base, thus becoming active participants in the busy hotel atmosphere. A single upholsterer hand-sews the fabric onto the frame of Swan.”

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