Miniatures Coconut Chair
George Nelson, 1955
In contrast to the trend of adapting sitting furniture to the requirements of the human body, George Nelson designs sitting objects from the formal repertoire of spontaneous, popular everyday culture. The shapes he used were strongly stimulated by the art of the 1950s. His symbolic statements promoted a new, very casual form of sitting. Nelson's Coconut Chair was inspired by the coconut shell. The seat consists of a glass-fibre reinforced plastic shell with upholstery. The three-legged base of tubular steel is stabilized using fine crossbars. One has the impression that the frame spans the floating, swinging form taut and fixes it to the floor.
For over two decades, the Vitra Design Museum has been making miniature replicas of milestones in furniture design from its collection. The Miniatures Collection encapsulates the entire history of industrial furniture design – moving from Historicism and Art Nouveau to the Bauhaus and New Objectivity, from Radical Design and Postmodernism all the way up to the present day. Exactly one sixth the size of the historical originals, the chairs are all true to scale and precisely recreate the smallest details of construction, material and colour. The high standard of authenticity even extends to the natural grain of the wood, the reproduction of screws and the elaborate handicraft techniques involved. This has made the miniatures into popular collector's items as well as ideal illustrative material for universities, design schools and architects.
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