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Frank Gehry Side Chair in Cardboard for Vitra Edition



Gehry's experimentation with cardboard furniture grew from his extensive use of it in architectural models. To show the strength of the laminated cardboard material, he famously photographed a Volkswagen Beetle supported on all four wheels with cardboard side chairs. He used a particular type of multi-layer corrugated cardboard, and stipulated its use in the production versions by Vitra. Over time cardboard technology has changed so current production uses a different cardboard, considered even stronger yet slightly lighter in color. When new, the Gehry cardboard chairs exhibit a crisp, scratchy surface, due to the stiff paper edges. Over time, and with prolonged use, the paper wears to a soft sueded patina, which is both beautiful and comfortable. This version is from Vitra's earliest production, a long-time show sample and has been included in many exhibitions of modern design, and is velvety soft to the touch.


  • Creator
    Frank Gehry (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 32.5 in. (82.55 cm)Width: 14.25 in. (36.2 cm)Depth: 21 in. (53.34 cm)Seat Height: 17.5 in. (44.45 cm)
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1980
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Early Vitra Edition production, this Side Chair version is no longer in production. Good condition, some scuffs on fiberboard. Cardboard has a beautiful suede like patina.
  • Seller Location
    Denton, MD
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 15.VITRA.SIDECH1stDibs: LU153623133742

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Free Shipping: In-Home Delivery Shipping
    to United States 0, arrives in 4-6 days.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Denton, MD
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 30 days of delivery.

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About the Designer

Frank Gehry

With magnificent buildings such as the Guggenheim Bilbao, Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the new Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris, Frank Gehry has changed the nature and spirit of contemporary architecture. Yet the world’s best-known living architect has also enjoyed a prolific career as a designer of artful and functional objects, ranging from furniture to jewelry, that even at smaller scale are as lively and captivating as his architectural designs.Gehry was born in Toronto and moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1947. He received a degree in architecture from the University of Southern California in 1954 and — after several years of casting about that included a stint in the U.S. Army and studies at Harvard — Gehry opened his architectural practice in L.A. in 1962. Idiosyncratic renovations to his small, traditional house in Santa Monica — such as cladding portions of the exterior in chain-link fencing and corrugated metal — drew attention to Gehry in architectural circles. Corporate and institutional commissions added to his reputation, culminating in the global acclaim that greeted the opening of the Guggenheim Bilbao in 1997. But the combination of visual dynamism and structural integrity expressed by that building had been evident for decades in Gehry’s designs. In 1972 he introduced a much-admired line of furniture he called Easy Edges. The curves and flowing lines of the pieces, which include the Wiggle chair, seem antithetical to the material are made from: cardboard — a presumably flimsy material that, when stacked, laminated and folded, is actually extraordinarily sturdy.Many of Gehry’s designs feature an abstracted fish motif. For the architect, it is a symbol of vitality, strength and flexibility. The fish appears in a group of 1982 plastic lamps created for Formica (and exhibited by the Jewish Museum in New York in 2010). Gehry used the motif in crystal goblets for Swid Powell (1990), his Pito kettle for Alessi (1992) and as earrings for a 2006 jewelry collection for Tiffany that also includes torqued rings, necklaces and bangles. Gehry returned to furniture design in 1992 with a remarkably energetic line of furniture for Knoll with frames and seating made of bent, lightweight wooden strops. (The pieces' names, such as Power Play and Cross Check, derive from ice hockey.) In 2004, Heller released a group of twisted, faceted furnishings in molded polyethylene meant to evoke Gehry’s architecture. But — whether its tableware, jewelry or furniture — all Gehry’s designs do that--sharing an animated aesthetic built on a solid foundational core. To possess a piece of Gehry design is to own one of his buildings, in miniature.Find vintage Frank Gehry chairs, tables and other furniture on 1stDibs.
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Denton, MD
Vetted Seller
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Established in 2005
1stDibs seller since 2015
132 sales on 1stDibs
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