Chair, model ST 14
Hans Luckhardt (1890–1954)
Manufactured by DESTA, Berlin
Chrome-plated tubular steel, painted plywood
87.5 x 53.5 x 61cm, seat height 44cm
Museum no. W.49–1984
So accomplished were the first Modernist cantilevered chairs of Mart Stam, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer that it became difficult for others to design cantilevered chairs that seemed anything other than either pale imitations or outlandish attempts at novelty. Yet Hans Luckhardt’s design, which approached the borders of novelty, went beyond even Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s in its eschewing of anything approaching rectilinearity. Like other cantilevered chairs, it relied on the tensile strength of extruded steel tube to achieve its minimal structure. However, it made use not only of a cantilevered frame (like previous designs), but also of a cantilevered seat of extraordinarily thin plywood, which seemed to float in the middle of the frame despite being attached at two points by steel flanges. The chair proclaimed itself as a triumph of industrial materials and contemporary design over the laws of nature.