The furniture market in the United States accounts for an annual revenue of $63 billion. Furniture can often be either an overlooked addition to our household or one of the most important parts of our daily routine. Great furniture is more than just something to take up space. They provide comfort, function, symbolize status or embody a reflection of personal style. Crafting furniture has become an artform in itself. Here is a quick overview of some notable modern furniture designers and their contributions to the furniture industry.
- Xavier Pauchard
- Isamu Noguchi
- Florence Knoll
- Philippe Starck
- Eames Brothers
Xavier Pauchard was a French artisan who founded his own workshop in 1905 and created the brand Tolix. Tolix is still in business today producing furniture characterized by robust, pressed metal, simple colors, and easily stackable items including the model A chair and the Tolix stool. While the model A chair is the most recognizable and a collector favorite, the Tolix stool is also notable for a wide range of sizes and comfortable backrests.
Noguchi was a prominent Japanese-American modernist designer. His most famous creation, and perhaps one of the most famous pieces of furniture in history, is the Noguchi coffee table, first developed in 1947. The table is comprised of a wooden piece of two identical pieces of wood and a heavy glass top.
Knoll is an American architect and designer who embraced minimalism. Her furniture often resembled modernist buildings, including her famous three piece rectangular couch. The word couch comes from an Old French term meaning to recline and were actually originally more like daybeds.
Philippe Starck is a French designer still active in the design industry. His works emphasizes the democratic design concept, making pieces of high quality that are also affordable to all. One of these is the ghost chair. Ghost chairs are called such because they are made of transparent plastic.
Charles and Ray Eames are the namesake for perhaps the most famous piece of modernist furniture, the Eames lounge chair. Often accompanied by an ottoman, the Eames lounge chair was finally released in 1956 after years of research and development. It was made of high quality molded plywood and leather, and was designed to focus on both usability in an office setting and comfort.