Mid-Century Modern Furniture Then and Now - Paradigm Gallery Blog

Archive for the ‘Mid Century Modern Furniture Designers’ Category

Cheers and Chairs for 2013

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On December 31st

Four Blue Chairs


I love chairs, all different kinds of chairs. It was the “Four Blue Chairs” that punctuated the turn in the road that led to being an e-tailor of chairs.  My personal collection has a sweet 70’s Thonet rocker, a pair of well worn and loved Siesta chairs by Ingmar Relling, an antique rocker from West Virginia, a pair of Otto Gerdau beechwood chairs, mid-century wrought iron chairs, and a handful of other mid mo chairs that have come along for the ride!

Mies ven der Rohe is often quoted for saying, “A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier. ” and since he designed both I take him at his word. The chair is the ultimate example of form and function…..

So friends, CHEERS and CHAIRS and a Happy 2013 !





How cool is it to have a local public library using chairs at tables and computer workstations that are referred to as Recycled Seat Belt Chairs (custom designed Rock and Stop Chairs)?  Composed of solid natural wood frames with seat belt webbing, they are both green and very comfortable. Enter the Gotham Rocker, designed by  J.Persing  the same small niche U.S. company that built the library chairs mentioned above, called the Rock and Stop Chairs. Again using surplus automotive seatbelts Paradigm Gallery offers these environmentally friendly chairs which are dyed with non-toxic water-based inks.  Its light weight form is intentional:  great design with minimal material.  America is truly coming back!                                                                                 

#7: Poul Volther

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On March 14th

Poul M Volther - Photo courtesy of Flickr user segundo

Poul Volther (1923-2001) had an amazing ability to find potential in things that others could not. His first famed work was the Corona Chair or “Petal Chair”, introduced in 1964. This chair was crafted out of solid oak, and was a design unlike any other of the time. He incorporated every aspect of the various phases of design into one piece. These phases included:

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#6: Verner Panton

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On February 29th

Verner Panton - Heart Chair

Danish designer, Verner Panton, was a visionary. Born in 1926, he is a quality brand in Danish instrumental furniture design, interior design, and architecture. Panton’s furniture and lamp creations are extremely innovative, and make use of unusual and creative materials.

The Panton Chair was the first example of single-formed injection molded plastic seating. With this design, Panton succeeded in creating one of the most daring and famous chair designs of the twentieth century.

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#5: George Nelson

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On February 15th

George Nelson - Coconut Chair


George Nelson is an iconic American designer, who was an extremely influential figure in the later half of the 20th Century. George was a widely respected architect, designer, journalist, lecturer, curator, photographer, and teacher. He attended Yale University from 1928-1931, where he received both a BA and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Following that, Nelson studied at the American Academy in Rome, and returned to the U.S. in 1935 to pursue a career as an editor and journalist for “Architectural Forum” journal and “Pencil Point” magazine. George took this opportunity to introduce American readers to the European avant-garde.

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#4: Isamu Noguchi

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On February 1st

Meet Isamu Noguchi, 1904-1988. Noguchi is a Japanese-American designer who had a vision of making sculpture useful in our everyday life. He was quoted as saying: Read the rest of this entry »

#3: Eileen Gray

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On January 18th

Eileen Gray's E.1027 Villa's Livingroom , Roguebrune Cap Martin, France


Although our list of designers is slightly male dominant, this female designer was one of the pioneers of the modernist design movement and has made a significant name for herself in the world of design. Her work attracted the attention of many, in a time when entrepreneurial women had far greater challenges to face in their efforts to make a name for themselves.

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#2: Harry Bertoia

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On January 4th

Harry Bertoia - Diamond Chair

“If you look at these chairs, they are mainly made of air, like sculpture. Space passes right through them.”

– Harry Bertoia

Harry Bertoia, born in Italy in 1915, designed a line of chairs that were the antithesis to the typical 1950’s style of rigid wood. His most famous collection of furniture were steel chairs comprised of welded wire which possessed a “springy” feel. Of these, the most well known was the Diamond Chair, which, as the name suggests, was shaped like a diamond. The highest point in the diamond forms the chair’s back support. Bertoia’s chairs were produced in 1952 by Knoll International, and they continue to produce them today.

Like fellow furniture designers, Eero Saarinen, Bertoia attended Cranbook Academy, and was exposed to the world of modern furniture. During his time at Cranbook, Bertoia won the Organic Furniture Design Competition sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art.

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#1: Eero Aarnio

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On December 21st

Eero Aarnio - Ball Chair

Imagine yourself inside of a floating bubble, or cocooned into a sleek, plastic ball…a plastic ball that is actually comfortable inside! The Ball Chair design was one of the many creations of Eero Aarnio that caused him to stand out among designers, and brought him fame around the world.

Aarnio created useful, good-humored, sculptural designs made of fiberglass, colored plastic, and acrylic. These innovative and unique designs have helped Aarnio become a very esteemed designer, that stands out among the others. His collection includes more than just furniture. He has produced an array of products, including chairs, tables, lamps, children’s collections, miniatures, guitars, and room dividers.

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Learn about all of your favorite mid-century modern furniture designers before you begin your search for that perfect piece of furniture:

  1. Le Corbusier: Pioneer of “Modern” Furniture and Architecture
  2. Mies van der Rohe: Mid Century Design – Glass and Steel Architect Extraordinaire
  3. Eero Saarinen: Curling Up in Mid-Century Modern Furniture
  4. Arne Jacobsen: Danish Influenced Modern Furniture
  5. Poul Kjaerholm: The Final Figure of Danish Furniture Design
  6. Hans J. Wegner: Simple and Elegant Minimalist Design
  7. Marcel Lajos Breuer: International Style

Now that you’ve seen what some of the most popular designers have made, you can choose what type of modern furniture you want for your home.

If you’re still not 100 percent sure what piece of furniture you want, you should check out popular pieces like these:


– Lynne