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A Design Classic after 10 years?

General Comments September 13th 2012

In 2002 we saw the manufacture of the Louis Ghost chair. The chair, designed by Phillipe Starck, was designed to pay a sort of homage to the 18th century French baroque style. This was the idea, but a few features such as the transparent plastic construction bring this chair up to date, but never the less, the chair does have characteristics of French baroque furniture. The chair has an oval shaped back and twisted angled arms that give the chair a more classic feel.

The question is that after only 10 years, should this, what is essentially a café chair or dining chair be considered a design classic? Especially as the design is so young?

Having been posed this question, Kartell, The producer of the Louis Ghost chair claimed that since the first production of the chair, they have sold 1.5 million chairs to date. This means that it is “the most widely sold design chair in the world” in the recent years.

The real question is that can a chair that is only a decade old be put in the same class as the Arne Jacobsen Egg chair or the Thonet café chair, café furniture that has stood the test of time for over 4-5 decades.

This year is the chairs 10th anniversary and looking at the statistics of sales, the design of the chair and the other café furniture and design furniture that has been produced in this period, I cannot help but to be inclined with Kartell in saying that this is an “iconic” chair… at the moment.

Predicting how furniture will be conceived in a few decades time is almost impossible. The changing of tastes that people go through are also unpredictable, so how do we know that in another 10 years’ time, plastic furniture will be considered undesirable and unusable and put this café chair firmly in the section of chairs that were popular for a limited time? The answer… Only time will tell.

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