Panton stacking chair by Verner Panton
This is the first single form plastic chair, and is still one of the most satisfying
and sensible. Whether or not there was any direct influence, Panton's chair bears a striking resemblance to Gerrit
Rietveld's Zig-zag, designed in 1934, in its distribution of load and stress through one single cohesive form.
Eero Saarinen's attempts to make a chair at least appearing to be all of one piece
may have influenced Panton, but this design has itself certainly been very influential.
There is a trace of the formal vocabulary of the Art Nouveau style, in the slightly disconcerting
way in which the chair seems to grow out of the floor. In this design, the freedom allowed by advances in plastics
and mold-forming technology has been exploited to maximum advantage, but with a fine degree of restraint. The form
is generous, but strictly functional.
A group of Panton chairs, tightly nested for storage.
Few designers have achieved such a logical shape, in terms of comfort and strength of structure.
Like all Panton's designs it has, in spite of great fluidity of line, a tightness of form rarely found in any
plastic or glass-fibre structure.
Pastilli or Gyro chair by Eero Aarnio