Famous architects are equally known for their buildings as they are for their chairs. A famous design chair can often contain architectural manifestos in miniature, loaded with aesthetic and social arguments on how to live and make.
The celebrated American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, for one, certainly designed as many pieces of furniture as buildings, often specified to the space to maintain an aesthetic harmony between the interior and exterior–an exacting, if not obsessive, dedication to his design craft. For the living room of his own Taliesen West home, workshop, and school in Arizona (now home to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and School of Architecture), he designed and used this stately, sculptural armchair with his workshop in 1949, and used it until his death, at age 91, in 1959.
Made from a single piece of folded plywood, the stark angles of the Taliesen chair give it a faceted, futuristic form, and its spare construction makes complex use of simple, straight lines that minimize offcut waste. In its time, the workshop’s wood-pressing technology was also a highly advanced method of fabrication. Never put into serial production until 1986, and even then, only briefly until 1991, by the Italian furniture house Cassina, the Taliesen armchair has been brought back into production in a limited edition of 450 chairs.