Field Trip: Notes
I didn’t realise I had an affinity for chairs until I recently noticed a reoccurring love for different ones at different points in my life. The old swivel recliner in the corner of my parents living room. The little wooden armchair in my sixth form’s art department. Sherlock’s chair in the BBC series. I loved the way his chair looked. I loved the colour of it. I thought it was one of the coolest things I’d ever seen. Watching the show in my teens, I had zero design knowledge at the time; I was completely unaware that what I was admiring, was an iconic LC3 armchair.
The LC3 was part of the LC range of seating, the first results of the collaboration between Le Corbusier, Jeanneret and Perriand in 1928. The main feature of the chair is the external steel frame, the defining feature that distinguished the LC3 collection from other designs of the time. Due to the simple, timeless silhouette of the chair it can look at home in an ultra-modern apartment, just as it does in a classic British interior, as seen in Sherlock (2012–2017).
Another famous chair on screen is Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Chair which appears in Casino Royal (2006). The James Bond franchise has been defining style since 1962, so it makes sense to feature a such cult classic; one which remains as elegant today as when it was released. The chair has been featured in many movies, Twilight (2008), Tron: Legacy (2010), 500 Days of Summer (2009) to name a few. Mies van der Rohe’s ‘less-is-more’ approach set the standard for generations of designers, few pieces have reached the iconic status of the Barcelona Chair.
Ray and Charles Eames furniture has unsurprisingly featured in many movies and series, examples being Iron Man (2008) and The Ghost Writer (2010). Pictured above in Hope Springs (2012) is the Lounge Chair, designed 1956 and the ultimate symbol of modernist style. It’s often used on screen to convey a character’s good taste. Thanks to its refined grace and comfort, the Lounge Chair has become one of the most famous and most desirable pieces of furniture in the history of modern design.
Seeing iconic chairs on screen is a fun reminder that inspiration is everywhere. It’s also an appreciation of the continuous influence of elite design. From inspiring a set decorators choices, to informing a characters taste, to influencing a wide audience of viewers. Teenage me captivated by a chair I knew nothing about, is in my opinion, the essence of great design. Props to all the set decorators.