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Jason

Chair
1950-1951 (designed), post 1950 (manufactured)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

From the early 1950s progressive British taste fell under the sway of Danish design. The Jason chair was designed by a Danish designer Carl Jacobs but was manufactured by Kandya, a British firm. The lightweight, stackable, chair has gently tapering splayed wooden legs that are typical of Danish design of the period. The seat and back of the chair are folded from a single sheet of flexible plywood that wraps around the chair and joins below the seat in an expressive, though functionless, jigsaw puzzle type connection. In America the Eames and Eero Saarinen were experimenting with moulding single-piece chair seats and backs, but it required far simpler technology to bend plywood to achieve the same effect, as with this chair. Principally designed for domestic use, the Jason chair was in continuous production for almost twenty years, with metal legs as an option. In 1952 three hundred were installed in the South Bank Restaurant on the site of the Festival of Britain.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Moulded 5-ply beech plywood seat with solid beech frame
Brief Description
Jason chair, designed by Carl Jacobs, manufactured by Kandya Ltd, beech frame and beech faced plywood seat and back, Middlesex, Britain, designed 1950-1951
Physical Description
Chair, with one-piece seat and back of moulded 5-ply beech plywood and solid beech frame. The seat and back are moulded from a single, shaped piece of plywood. The outer edges of the back are long strips that are folded under the seat to create the cut-outs in the back. The seat is attached to the solid beech frame with three metal screws that go through the seat directly into the frame beneath. The chair has four tapering solid beech legs with rubber stoppers at the ends.
Dimensions
  • Height: 74cm
  • Width: 52.5cm
  • Depth: 45.7cm
Production typeMass produced
Gallery Label
Text from Plywood: Material of the Modern World (15 July-12 November 2017) JASON CHAIR Designed 1950–51 The seat and back of this chair were moulded from a single, shaped piece of plywood. The outer edges of the back are long strips that were cleverly folded under the seat to create the cut-outs. These were required as it was not possible to mould plywood into a closed shell without the veneers cracking under stress. Designed by Carl Jacobs (born 1925) Manufactured by Kandya Middlesex, Britain Moulded 5-ply beech plywood seat with solid beech frame Given by Kandya Ltd V&A: CIRC.306-1970 (2017)
Credit line
Given by Kandya Ltd
Production
Manufactured from 1951.
Summary
From the early 1950s progressive British taste fell under the sway of Danish design. The Jason chair was designed by a Danish designer Carl Jacobs but was manufactured by Kandya, a British firm. The lightweight, stackable, chair has gently tapering splayed wooden legs that are typical of Danish design of the period. The seat and back of the chair are folded from a single sheet of flexible plywood that wraps around the chair and joins below the seat in an expressive, though functionless, jigsaw puzzle type connection. In America the Eames and Eero Saarinen were experimenting with moulding single-piece chair seats and backs, but it required far simpler technology to bend plywood to achieve the same effect, as with this chair. Principally designed for domestic use, the Jason chair was in continuous production for almost twenty years, with metal legs as an option. In 1952 three hundred were installed in the South Bank Restaurant on the site of the Festival of Britain.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic Reference
Wilk, Christopher. Plywood: A Material Story. London: Thames & Hudson / V&A, 2017
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.306-1970

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record createdFebruary 6, 2007
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