One minute to think design: The Diamond Chair by Harry Bertoia

Famous for its transparency, its unity and its sculptural approach, the Diamond Chair by Harry Bertoia was created in 1952. Let's take a look at this design icon, of astonishing modernity...

The Diamond Chair is the result of a carte blanche given to Harry Bertoia by Florence and Hans Knoll who entrusted him with the creation of a seat. With her sculptural dimension, it is Bertoia's most famous armchair.

The 1950s were extremely prolix in terms of creation in the field of design. We are witnessing a softening of the austere functionalism of the interwar period, with the development of free forms, made possible thanks to the appearance of new technical means. We then speak of organic design in the United States.

It is in this context that Harry Bertoia designs the Diamond Chair. It is presented as a continuous plane which would have been curved, giving rise to a large 3D diamond, itself composed of smaller and curved diamonds, each mesh of the structure taking up the general shape. This diamond shape is no coincidence for this multi-talented designer, passionate about jewelry.

The Diamond flesh is endowed with an almost artisanal quality in its realization. The steel wires are preformed, but must be arranged one by one in the device and welded point by point, which makes it a rather expensive process.

The base, which looks relatively simple, brings the plane of the seat into existence as if suspended in space. The shadow cast by this piece of furniture reinforces its decorative function which can even make us think of kinetic art.

The Diamond Flesh, with its rather special biomorphism, calls for rest for the body thanks to its shell. This rest is however somewhat thwarted by the technique used by Bertoia, which is rather unpleasant for the body.

Bertoia sees this armchair as a study in space, form and metal. But the main material is air!

This achievement leads us to believe that Bertoia was first attentive to the question of form and that function came later. A trim has also had to be added, in the service of comfort.

Stunningly modern, the Diamond Chair enjoyed immense commercial success and is still one of the design's best-sellers. It also allowed Bertoia to be able to devote himself to his passion for sculpture for the rest of his career.