The Standard chair, made with a metal frame and a curved wooden seat rewards its user with an enjoyable and comfortable sitting experience due to its structure. 

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Image: Vitra Furniture

Why we love it

The Standard chair follows the reasoning that a chair bears most of the user’s weight at its rear, so that is where the design must be strengthened. While tubular steel would suffice for the front legs (which take relatively less strain), the back legs are made with a larger hollow structure of folded sheet metal to transfer stress to the floor. The Standard chair’s lacquered oak backrest and seat curves downwards at the front, boosting seating comfort. Being both everlasting and practical, the Standard chair is suitable for the home dining table, office, or a restaurant.

Who designed it

Jean Prouvé (1901-1984), the brains behind the Standard chair, was a French ironsmith-turned-self-taught architect and designer. He preferred using sheet metal over steel tubing, which was what his style apart from the Bauhaus steel furniture of his era. Besides creating his own designs, Prouvé also worked together with fellow French avant-garde designers such as Charlotte Perriand and le Corbusier. Prouvé designed a number of other things, such as lamps, door and window fittings, and even prefabricated houses. His furniture designs are manufactured by Vitra.

What is inspired

In 2011, the Prouvé family, Vitra and apparel brand G-Star Raw introduced a limited-edition collection of Prouvé furniture classics. With this, the Standard chair was also launched in contemporary colours, textiles, and detailing.  The latest update, the Standard SP (Siège en Plastique), was in attendance at the 2013 Milan Furniture Fair. For the Standard SP, robust plastic in a selected colour palette replaced the classic bent wood seat and backrest.
Two other designs by Prouvé share the same fin-like legs as the Standard chair: the EM Table with a solid wood top, and the Fauteuil de Salon, which is an equally comfortable armchair.

The Standard Chair is available at Vitra Furniture.