The Contempo Bar Chair is an example of contemporary furniture design. The term contemporary according to the Merriam dictionary is defined as “marked by characteristics of the present period.” Oxford Dictionary has a similar definition ie “following the latest ideas.” As far as furniture is concerned, contemporary is not the same thing as modern. Modern furniture is furniture that was built after the 19th century. Contemporary furniture on the other hand is any kind of furniture featuring sleek lines with simple design using modern materials. Function is of primary importance. Visual appeal is secondary. Contemporary furniture started becoming popular during the 1950s. New York’s Museum of Modern Art noticed the trend and decided to put together guidelines as to what defined contemporary furniture. The museum commissioned Edgar Kaufmann Jr with the task. He subsequently published a booklet titled “What Is Modern Design?” A series of precepts were established that dictated what was considered contemporary furniture. Kaufmann’s precepts were divided into three major categories: 1) Design, 2) Materials, and 3) Philosophy. According to Kaufmann the form, texture, and color of the item should be natural to the materials that are used. Also, the design should combine the beauty of the materials with the utility of the object. Additionally it should be visually pleasing. The design should be simple with no redundant material. Kaufmann further dictated that furniture should make use of cutting edge materials and employ new construction techniques. This precept helped create a trend for flat functional surfaces. Sheet metal and tubular metal was used frequently to create the structures of contemporary furniture. These materials allowed for the creation of smooth textures, pronounced edges, and crisp lines, much like the structure of the Contempo Bar Chair. According to Kaufmann’s third precept, the philosophy behind furniture design should be to try and express the spirit of our modern times and address modern life’s practical needs. The design should express an object’s purpose and the material’s beauty. It should never try to appear to be something it isn’t. For example a mass-produced piece of furniture shouldn’t try to look hand crafted. Finally the most important of Kauffmann’s philosophical precepts was that as many individuals as possible should be served by the item. In other words, designers should try and make furniture that is inexpensive to manufacture thereby making it affordable for the masses.
Robust metal construction of the Contempo Bar Chair renders it eminently suitable for commercial use. The seat cushion has 8-way hand-tied springs that will not sag even after decades of use. The footrest is solid brass. Standard upholstery material is black or brown saddle stitched calf leather. Upholstery in COM or COL is available. The Contempo Bar Chair is also available as a Counter Chair. Designed by Shah Gilani, ISFD. Custom sizing is available.
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