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What’s old is new again.

The iconic design of the Cesca chair is truly timeless, proven by its recent emergence as one of the latest stars of Instagram. The beloved chair has become more popular than ever in the last couple of years. Originally created over 90 years ago, the Cesca chair has been made new again through the embrace of a new generation of design lovers.

Soon after leaving the Bauhaus in 1928, celebrated designer and architect Marcel Breuer created the Cesca Chair, named as a tribute to his daughter, Francesca. Marcel sought to marry form and function through a material suitable for mass production. Inspired by the Adler bicycle he rode through the streets of Dessau, Marcel Breuer created the ground-breaking tubular metal frame providing a lightweight but study solution that allowed flexibility in design. The innovative use of material and simple form ensured the Cesca was suited for mass production.

Image by John Naar from the Knoll Archive.

“I already had the concept of spanning the seat with fabric in tension as a substitute for thick upholstery. I also wanted a frame that would be resilient and elastic [as well as] achieve transparency of forms to attain both visual and physical lightness,” Breuer later commented on the development of his design. “Mass production and standardization had already made me interested in polished metal, in shiny and impeccable lines in space as new components for our interiors. I considered such polished and curved lines not only symbolic of our modern technology, but actually technology itself.”

The fusion of traditional craftsmanship and industrial materials resulted in a cantilevered silhouette that transformed the chair into one of the most influential designs of the 20th century. The use of mixed materials allows the chair to blend effortlessly into many design aesthetics. While the Cesca chair has never gone out of style, the current renaissance of this timeless classic shows no sign of slowing down.

 

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