Chair Thing thumbnail 1
Chair Thing thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Furniture, Room 135, The Dr Susan Weber Gallery

Chair Thing

Chair
1964 (designed), 1965 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Polyurethane-coated laminated paper, die-cut and folded
Brief Description
Child's chair, of polyurethane-coated paper, designed by Peter Murdoch 1965
Physical Description
Chair folded from a single piece of laminated paper. White with green spots.

Dimensions
  • Height: 52cm
  • Width: 52.5cm
  • Depth: 46.5cm
Gallery Label
‘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)
Credit line
Given by Peter Murdoch
Object history
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
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.
Summary
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.
Associated Object
Circ.18-1970 (Colourway)
Bibliographic Reference
Francis, Mark, Les Années Pop: 1956-1968, Centre Georges Pompidou, 2001
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.17-1970

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record createdFebruary 2, 2000
Record URL