Origami Chair (1949)

The Taliesin Origami Chair, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1949, is one of his most coveted of his furniture designs.

The Taliesin Origami Chair by Frank Lloyd Wright , 1949: A green-blue chair with a tan accent along the edge.
The Taliesin Origami Chair (1949) by Frank Lloyd Wright

Image source: https://franklloydwright.org/cassina-frank-lloyd-foundation-partner-to-bring-wright-designed-furniture-into-homes/

What Makes it Special?

Frank Lloyd Wright created the Origami chair for the Garden Room of his residence at Taliesin West, in Arizona, during 1949. The design streamlined the production process because the entire armchair came from a single sheet of 4 x 8 feet of laminated plywood. At the same time, this guaranteed an ergonomic, comfortable, and uniquely upholstered final product.

Taliesin Origami Chair, produced by the Italian company Cassina, that went on to fabricate a limited edition of Wright’s design in the ’50s. The piece began mass production in the late 1980s, but was shortly discontinued (in the 1990s) for being overly peculiar and too avant-garde. Later, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation would reissue it, in partnership with Cassina. Additionally, reintroduced in its original beech plywood form with a cherry wood veneer, it could be natural or stained in black oak.

The complex angled structure of Taliesin 1, which ensures its stability, draws on modernist architectural style, giving the chair its characteristic “wooden origami” shape.

Origami Chair front: A photo of the wooden structure with tan cushions.
Origami Chair front
Origami Chair back: A photo of the wooden structure with tan cushions.
Origami Chair Back

Images source: https://franklloydwright.org/cassina-frank-lloyd-foundation-partner-to-bring-wright-designed-furniture-into-homes/

Taliesin West

Today Taliesin West is the main campus of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, housing the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Additionally, it acts as the headquarters of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the winter home for the School of Architecture.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s personal touch is visible in every detail of Taliesin West, including the walls of the building made of rocks from the local desert, poured with concrete, and laid in wooden forms. Further, Wright preferred to use locally and readily available materials over those that had to be ordered with delivery.

The Taliesin 1 chair front: a photo of the chair with black cushion, and a light wood accent along the edge.
The Taliesin 1 chair
A photo of Two, light-colored, origami chairs staged in a house
Two origami chairs staged in a house

Images source: https://franklloydwright.org/cassina-frank-lloyd-foundation-partner-to-bring-wright-designed-furniture-into-homes/

How is it Made?

The chair is constructed out of a single sheet of 4-foot x 8-foot of plywood. It consists of a composition of a trapezoidal inner/outer side panels and triangular armrests and legs. Materials used for this piece include cherry veneer plywood, fabric cushions, and copper footboards.

Data Sheet

  • Designer: Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Year: 1949
  • Manufacturer: Cassina
  • Dimension: 77.4x 104.3 x 93 cm
  • Materials: Structure in beech plywood with cherry wood veneer, natural or stained black oak, seat and backrest in polyurethane foam, upholstery in leather or fabric from the Cassina Collections.
Drawing showing the chair dimensions
Drawing showing the chair dimensions

Images source:


Info sources: 

https://www.dezeen.com/2018/12/03/taliesin-1-chair-frank-lloyd-wright-reissued-cassina/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliesin_West

For more references, please also visit: www.jbdesign.it

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