Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Chair - Chair Thing

Chair Thing

  • Object:

    Chair

  • Place of origin:

    London (The chair was first manufactured by Peter Murdoch Inc. backed by International Paper Collaboration in the US. , made)

  • Date:

    1964 (designed)
    1965 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Murdoch, Peter, born 1940 (designer)
    Peter Murdoch Inc. (maker)
    New Merton Board Mills (manufactured)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Polyurethane-coated laminated paper, die-cut and folded

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Peter Murdoch

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.17-1970

  • Gallery location:

    Furniture, Room 135, The Dr Susan Weber Gallery, case BY8, shelf WALL

This chair captures the look and ethos of the Pop art movement of the 1960s. The simple form was created from a single piece of die-cut, folded card but required complex development. In 1967 the designer Peter Murdoch extended the range, which was marketed as Those Things: Fibreboard Furniture for the Young. The range of Chair Things, Stool Things and Table Things emphasised the multi-purpose, play-orientated function and reflected relaxing social attitudes towards children.

Over 76,000 pieces were sold in six months in 1967, retailing at less than £1 each. Despite several awards the potential for mass-production in the 1970s was never fully realised. Pop furniture was designed to be disposable so few examples have survived.

Physical description

Chair folded from a single piece of laminated paper. White with green spots.

Place of Origin

London (The chair was first manufactured by Peter Murdoch Inc. backed by International Paper Collaboration in the US. , made)

Date

1964 (designed)
1965 (made)

Artist/maker

Murdoch, Peter, born 1940 (designer)
Peter Murdoch Inc. (maker)
New Merton Board Mills (manufactured)

Materials and Techniques

Polyurethane-coated laminated paper, die-cut and folded

Dimensions

Height: 52 cm, Width: 52.5 cm, Depth: 46.5 cm

Object history note

This simple form was made from a single piece of folded card but required complex development.

Historical significance: Winner of Design Centre Award in 1968.

According to the magazine 'Design' (May 1968, p.33), the earlier versions of the paper chairs were made in the USA, while Murdoch was still a student. Perspective Designs commissioned him to design a new range in 1967. These were manufactured by New Merton Board Mills for Perspective Designs. Perspective Designs was established by Philip Bidwell in 1966 to promote young British designers, with a particular focus on selling overseas.

Historical context note

The range of 'Chair Things', 'Stool Things' and 'Table Things', emphasised the multi-purpose, play-orientated function and reflected relaxing social attitudes towards children. Over 76,000 pieces were sold in six months on 1967, retailing at less than £1 each. Despite several awards, the potential for mass-production in the 1970s was never fully realised and the disposability of Pop furniture means few examples have survived.

Descriptive line

Child's chair, of polyurethane-coated paper, designed by Peter Murdoch 1965

Labels and date

‘Child Chair’
1964
Peter Murdoch (born 1940)

USA
Manufactured 1965 by Peter Murdoch Inc. with International Paper Co., USA
Polyethylene-coated laminate paper, five layers of three different papers, die-cut

Given by Peter Murdoch
Museum nos. Circ.17, 18-1970

Made entirely of cardboard, this chair was sold flat-packed and assembled at home. A single sheet is bent and folded to form the round base and curved seat, with flaps to stiffen it.

The production machinery allowed the parts to be printed, stamped and scored at a rate of one per second. Costing less than £1, the chair was fairly cheap to replace.
[01/12/2012]

Materials

Paper; Polyurethane

Techniques

Laminated; Die cut

Categories

ELISE; Furniture

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.

Ajax-loader