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| Designbest editorial staff

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versatile chair entirely made from a single section of plastic. This is the striking idea, which seems to have been haunting Vener Panton since early 1950s. Nobody knows when he first had the idea but one thing is certain: the Danish designer's ambitious project, best known as the iconic Panton Chair, dates back to 1960.

 

It took him seven years to turn the first sketches into a full scale model. In those years, making a cantilevered chair seemed  impossible. Indeed, such a revolutionary shape, with no back legs seemed to defy gravity. In 1967, Vitra welcomed the challenge and proudly produced the first model.

 

With what result? An unprecedented success. Credit to its curvy design conceived to do justice to the shape of the human body; produced in a rainbow of colours as Panton himself used to say „You sit more comfortably on colours you like“. Or else you might credit the innovative material (fibreglass reinforced polyester and polyurethane) which made it suitable for any place, outdoors included.

 

Perfect with a limit though: the production process was too expensive and the material fairly unstable. This was a heavy blow to the Panton chair, and towards the end of the 1970s Vitra stopped producing it. End of a dream? Not nearly. Ten years later, thanks to new production technology in polyurethane foam, the Panton chair became fashionable again and truly iconic of the Pop movement! In 1995 it appeared on the covers of Vogue, England, and in 2006 Vitra made a smaller scale for children. 

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