Left to Right: George Nelson, Edward Wormley, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Charles Eames and Jens Risom
There is nothing inevitable about a chair any longer. Today the machine is the collaborator rather than the determinant of a design. Instead of pressing a cerebral button to solve a mechanical puzzle, the designer brings his unique imagination, his own emotions, to bear at every point in the development of the object. No bulwark of metaphysics is required to justify its every turn. If a bolt is exposed, it is because the designer enjoys the accent, and he is as likely as not to paint the bolthead black, just for the hell of it. A chair today stands on its own legs in existential – even absurd – delight.