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Miniatures Little Beaver

Frank Gehry, 1986

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Cardboard furniture as an inexpensive and light alternative to traditional furniture already appears as early as the 1960s. Most designs aimed at lending the cardboard the necessary stability through insert and folding techniques.

Gehry chose a different method, which gave birth to sturdy cardboard furniture like carboard sculptures: »One day I look in my office at a pile of corrugated cardboard, the material I normally used to make architecture models, and I began to experiment with it, to stick it together and to cut it into shape with a hand saw and a penknife«. Following his »Easy Edges« from 1972, a series of extraordinarily sturdy cardboard furniture with a smooth surface, from the end of the 1970s onwards Gehry once again devoted his attention to the use of corrugated cardboard as a material for making furniture.

»Experimental Edges« was the name given to unusually expansive armchairs and easy chairs with a rough, ragged- looking surface. Strips of thick cardboard usually used as the filling for door leafs were sawn or cut vertically to the corrugation lines and fashioned into solid volumes of varying shapes. Using this method, single items or small series of furniture were created, which were both furniture sculptures and surprisingly comfortable chairs and sofas.
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Miniatures Collection
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 New Objectivity of Bauhaus and Radical Design, and from Postmodernism all the way up to the present day. Exactly one sixth of the size of the historical originals, the chairs are all true to scale and precisely recreate the…
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