The Taliesin Origami Chair, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1949, is one of his most coveted of his furniture designs: considered too avant-garde to be even marketed, it resumed production in 2018, 28 years after being discontinued in 1990.
What makes it special?
Frank Lloyd Wright created Origami chair for the Garden Room of his residence at Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1949. The design ensured the production process to be as streamlined as possible so that the entire armchair could be fabricated from a single sheet of 4 x 8 feet of laminated plywood, while at the same time guaranteeing an ergonomic, comfortable, and uniquely upholstered final product.
Taliesin Origami Chair was produced by an 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 this version was shortly after discontinued (in the 1990s) for being overly peculiar and avant-garde; later on, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation would reissue it, in a partnership with Cassina, in its original beech plywood form with a cherry wood veneer, which can be left natural or stained in black oak.
The complex angled structure of Taliesin 1, which ensures its stability, draws on his modernist architectural style, giving the chair its characteristic “wooden origami” shape.
Today Taliesin West is the main campus of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, housing the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, acting 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: the walls of the building are made of rocks from the local desert, poured with concrete, and laid in wooden forms. Wright has always preferred to use locally and readily available materials over those that would have to be ordered with delivery.
How is it made?
The chair is constructed out of only a single sheet of 4-foot x 8-foot of plywood. It consists of a composition of geometric shapes: trapezoidal inner/outer side panels and triangular armrests and legs. Materials include (interior and exterior) cherry veneer plywood and fabric cushions; copper footboards.
- 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.
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