News from Cologne
This sculptured rocking chair has been...
This sculptured rocking chair has been designed by Ulrich Bohme for Thonet. and it is today's successor to the famous Thonet bentwood rocker. Made of brightly-shining chromed steel. it was shown last week at the International Furniture Fair in Cologne.
COMFORT furniture took a new turn at the Cologne International Fair last week. In fact, you can turn it which way you like. Seating units no wider than 8in clip together to form a chair, a two-seater, a four-seater sofa, or an extended caterpillar as lang as you want-and with a spinal curve just as you wish. Shown by the Swiss manufacturers De Sede, this ingenious new seating, which you can see in our pictures (above right), was made in the saftest, golden-brown calf leather, hand-sewn with bootlace stitching. No wonder it brought the crowds!
This is link furniture carried to ingenious lengths. In its more simple form, unit furniture on the stands was seen as square shapes of foam, often with real leather covering, which can be placed in any kind of arrangement to form a chair, a sofa, or a conversation area. For added comfort, there are soft clip-on arm cushions - useful if the basis of the piece is a wooden or steel frame, and consequently hard. Steel, generally with a bright, chromed finish, is used a lot for today's furniture. Bent into curves and pretty shapes, it is far more acceptable than the steel used in the thirties.
Quite the most lovely example of the sculptured uses of steel in the seventies was a chair made by Thonet, the name associated with bentwood and the famous rocking chair.
This is today's rocker: a double are of steel and a high-backed seat, beautifully economical in design and totally simple. The designer is Ulrich Bohme. It is pictured above left.
Furniture, - generally, is far more rounded and curvy than in the past few years. Even the ends of tables - both dining and coffee tables - are now gently bent to avoid the sharp, straight look. It is interesting to see that after so many years of open-fronted shelves and units, there's now a tendency to put doors on the units. Doors, half-doors, glazed doors and the like, present an interesting variation to storage units which were becoming depressingly alike. One of the most spectacular stands at the Cologne Fair was that designed by the Dane, Verner Panton. He had covered whole of his stand in carpet, in purple and wine shades, even to the ceiling.
Then he showed same outrageaus foam seating units which could be built up to the ceiling and in which one could rest as in a hammock or in a tree. More realistic, but no less dramatic, were his chairs made of woolcovered foam and curved steel wire rods. There were matching tables with glass tops showing the wire " bones" beneath and the tables were in two heights, for coffee or for dining. For fun, the Swedes have an inflatable chair which you buy in a flat parcel, take horne and blow up. It has washable covers in denim, in bright colours like yellow and blue, which don't shrink or stain, and it is treated to minimise static electricity.
It is noticeable that the problem of static electricity for same people now being tackled. Textiles, increasingly, are being treated to eliminate the nuisance of a sudden shock. With the Common Market in mind, many international firms are concentrating on pack-flat arrangements. Behr were showing a leather chair
which could be put together with press studs, packed flat together with its foam base, and thereafter made into chairs or long sofas.Our manufacturers must be ready for a lot of competition. The ,Germans made no secret of the fact that they are raring to go and there will be very little waiting period between orders, and delivery.
by ALlCE HOPE