Frank Gehry (American, born 1929); Manufacturer: Easy Edges Inc.
Corrugated cardboard, Masonite
29 3/8 x 23 3/8 x 37 1/2 in. (74.6 x 59.4 x 95.3 cm); H. of seat 14 3/4 in. (37.5 cm)
Gift of James D. Barron, 1987 (1987.357)
© Gehry Partners, LLP
The "Contour" chair, designed by architect Frank Gehry, transforms cardboardone of the most prosaic and utilitarian of industrial materialsinto a durable, visually dynamic, and structurally sound piece of modern design. Beginning in the late 1960s, Gehry experimented with furniture made of composite layers of cardboard, yielding objects of substantial resilience and strength, while at the same time permitting considerable flexibility of form. The "Contour" chair, for example, features a fluid, ribbonlike shape that belies its sturdy structure. Gehry was particularly interested in creating well-designed, low-cost goods, and its standardized production and inexpensive materials made "Contour" an affordable piece of furntiture. The use of common industrial supplies such as cardboard characterized much of Gehry's early architecture and design, as he sought to create a new formal vocabulary through everyday materials.