Wire-based armchair


Warren Platner ( American, 1919 - 2006 )


Knoll International ( American, 1938 )

designed 1961–1966
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General Description

Between 1963 and 1967, Warren Platner collaborated with the Knoll Design Development Group, and the result was perhaps Platner's most widely admired furniture. His nickel-finished, steel-rod chairs, stools, and table are subtly gathered at their centers, providing the viewer an optical sense of motion in the static object. In this way, Platner's designs show his appreciation of Russian-born constructivist Naum Gabo's kinetic sculptures that consisted of plastic sheets on which closely spaced nylon threads were strung to enclose varied spatial volumes. Gabo's sculpture and Platner's furniture allow one to see through the enclosed space but alter the perception of that space through form and material. Platner's work also relates to the earlier wirework designs of Marcel Breuer and Harry Bertoia. Arguably, Platner's wire-based armchair has become an icon of modern furniture design.

Adapted from

Stephen Harrison, DMA unpublished material, 2000.