Design: Barcelona Chair
Designer: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (German, 1886-1969)
Country of Origin: Germany
Manufacturer: Currently produced by Knoll
Materials & Construction: Chromed steel frame, foam cushions upholstered in leather.
Background: Commonly associated with the phrase “less is more,” Mies van der Rohe is considered by many to be one of the forefathers of Modernist design. A firm believer in the value of clarity and simplicity, Mies, like many of his Modernist contemporaries, sought to create works that embraced industrial manufacture and “honest” design. The Barcelona chair, created for the German Pavillion at the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona (also a Mies design), is one of Mies’ crowning achievements. A perfect amalgam of his design philosophies, the Barcelona chair saw Mies playing with sculptural forms and rich material while maintaining a simple, easily mass-produced design. Later picked up by the American manufacturer Knoll, the Barcelona chair remains in production (and popular demand) to this day, a common fixture in luxe apartments and hotels around the world.
Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg.