Marcel Breuer is one of the historical and most famous figures who have strongly contributed to the birth and development of design, as well as one of my favorite designers ever.
Although he also pursue on architecture; he’s definitely one of those figures that you have to look up to if you love the design for the great contribution he has made to it.
credits photo: Knoll
German but with an Hungarian origin, Breuer was born in Pécs on May 1902 and died in New York on July 1981.
He was one of the most important exponents of the Modern Movement and the Bauhause, and in this school his career started. Infact he attended the Bauhaus initially as a student and then, from 1925 to 1928, as a teacher, and he worked to direct the furniture laboratory.
In these years he began to test the use of metal and in particular of the tubular steel and he created one of his most iconic products, which I’m sure you know: the chair Wassily, also known as Model B3, that was created as a tribute to the painter Wassily Kandinsky.
The “Wassily” chair, distributed by Knoll – (photo source: knoll.com)
About this chair, that become an iconic symbol of modern and contemporary design, Breuer said: “Then I had the idea of replacing the thick padding of the seat with a taut sheet of fabric. I also wanted a frame elastic and flexible. In virtue of the interaction between the fabric taut and the elastic elements of the frame, this furniture should provide a great comfort without being massive. I also tried to achieve a certain transparency of the shape and then a visual and physical lightness. In my studies on mass production and standardization I discovered really soon the polished metal, bright and pure lines in space as new building blocks of our furniture. In these bright, curved lines I saw not only a symbol of modern technology, but also the technique in general. “
These words perfectly encapsulate his activity of planning and research applied to architecture and design. A poetic made of visual lightness, basic lines and pure forms.
Later, in 1932, with the advent of Nazism and the stop of Bauhause activity, Breuer was forced to emigrate, like many other designers and architects. First in England and then in the US he continued his profession, working in studies and teaching the subject that has enthralled him throughout his life.
Breuer is a timeless character, one of those who laid the foundations of modern design. His products (especially the Wassily chair, which is definitely one of my favorite of his collection and that was also one of the first products that “I met” during my studies) know how to give to a place a classy, rational, historical and cultural timeless touch. They are, without doubts, a part of that selection of products that make a difference.
This is what I mean:
The “Laccio” tables, distributed by Knoll – (photo source: knoll.com)
The “B22” shelf, distributed by Thonet – (photo source: thonet.de)
The “B9” small tables, distributed by Thonet – (photo source: thonet.de)
The “S35” armchair, distributed by Thonet – (photo source: thonet.de)
The “Cesca with arms” chair, distributed by Knoll – (photo source: knoll.com)
The “Cesca” chair, distributed by Knoll – (photo source: knoll.com)
The “F41E” sofa on wheels, distributed by Tecta – (photo source: tecta.de)
What do you think about it? Do you agree with me and Wassily is your favorite piece, or is there something else that impressed you more? Write everything that you want in the comments!
If you liked this article, I suggest you also the previous #ICONS: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe!
Credits photo cover: LIFE