If you are into chairs and history, make time very soon to watch this 90-minute film: “Chair Times: A History of Seating – From 1800 to Today.” The Vitra Design Museum is streaming it for free right now, and I don’t know how long that will last.
The film is a beautiful tour through a portion of Vitra’s historical collection of chairs, which spans more than 200 years of commercial production. The film, which is in German, French and English (with English subtitles), covers the work of many of the important designers and innovators – particularly in the 20th century.
Rolf Fehlbaum, chairman emeritus of Vitra, is the host, and he and his guests examine the chairs and discuss what is important or interesting about them (it’s like a very refined Chair Chat).
Many of these chairs are not to my taste at all. There is a lot of tubular steel and plastic that receives a lot of praise. But the enthusiasm and deep knowledge of the people in the film make it a joy to watch (even if you would stab an inflatable plastic chair to death just on principle).
Vitra produces many beautiful chairs. It also makes delightful miniature versions of historical chairs that are astonishing in their detail (I’ve seen several in person). These miniatures are used in the film and are also worth seeing.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. Thanks to Matthew Johnson for the tip on the film.