Little Beaver & Wiggle Series

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“Heavily marketed and intentionally inexpensive, this furniture epitomized Gehry’s interest in promoting affordable good design. The choice of “lowbrow” cardboard…reflects his broad interest in using industrial, commercial, and utilitarian materials. An award-winning architect, he has worked with exposed chain link fencing, corrugated metal, and plywood in concurrent architectural projects. In both the furniture series and the buildings, he has given value to seemingly worthless materials by using them to create lasting design”.

I am not sure on this but I believe that these are the first production pieces that use cardboard as their main ingredient. Even if it is not the first, the fact that it took this humble material and transformed it into a desirable design, is extremely noteworthy. It is easy to write this “designer” work off as aesthetic wanking but like most of Gehry’s work, it remains completely useful, is quite innovative in engineering and material selection, are a major challenge to “good taste” and traditional furniture making, and were created well in front of the eco sensibility that has become so popular today. A perfect example of what design can do when given a blank slate.

The work shown, from the top is the original Little Beaver Chair and Ottoman (and limited edition Red model), the Wiggle Dining Chair and Side Table, the Easy Edges Lounge, Side Chair and Tables, Dining Table, and the Bubbles Chaise Lounge from the Experimental Edges Series.

 

Source: MOMA

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