MAX FRASER ON DESIGN CLASSICS

April 2, 2015 / OLD news posts
Max Fraser

‘A design classic can have instant appeal when it launches but then that appeal endures for generations. Often, it is a new material or process that has given rise to a genuinely new function or form. Unfortunately, design classics are always widely copied and the replicas are inferior. My top pieces? The “214” bentwood chair by Michael Thonet [(1); 1859] was the first serially produced item of furniture. Millions have been sold worldwide: they are durable and elegant, and they look at home in any setting. The “Air-Chair” by Jasper Morrison for Magis [(2); 1999] was the first plastic chair to be air-injected during its production, making it hollow yet strong and light. It also costs less than £100. Lastly, the “PK22” by Poul Kjærholm for Fritz Hansen [(3); 1956] remains entirely modern almost 60 years after its launch thanks to its slender, honest stainless-steel structure.’

Max Fraser, design author and curator (londondesignguide.com; @maxfraserdesign)

Share your favourite designs on Twitter @ELLEDecoUK with the hashtag #EDclassics and see more in our April issue

Plus, discover more top picks from these industry insiders: