“A chair must be dynamic – one should sit on it comfortably.” Verner Panton
Fifty years ago, Danish designer Verner Panton (1926-1998) designed the first single mold plastic chair with a curvaceous profile called the Panton chair. It was Panton who first realised the potential for moulded plastic design.
Verner Panton (third from the left) photo source
Though Panton first had the idea for his chair as early as 1960, it wasn’t until the latter end of the decade that its American manufacturer, Herman Miller, found the means to mass produce it. When finally introduced to the mass market in 1967, the chair was often cited as the foremost example of the new vanguard of Modernist design. This original Herman Miller Panton Chair – also commonly referred to as the Stacking chair and the “S” chair – was rendered using a single piece of “S” shaped cantilevered plastic which was later fitted-out with a reinforced lacquered integument.
To celebrate 50 years of the Panton chair Vitra UK had a competition for architects and designers. They were given a white Panton chair to customise in any way they liked. The only rule was that it must still be moveable.
First place Jump Studios
Second Ben Adams Architects
Third Maris Interior
Photo source Vitra
Verner Panton and I