When I received my Design Public newsletter titled “Get the Look: Industrial Chic” this a.m., it got me thinking about one my very favorite chairs. If you know me at all, you know I have a major chair fetish, so giving a certain chair my attention is a major compliment. Anyway, the chair of which I speak is the Emeco 1006 Chair (a.k.a. Navy Chair). Here’s a little more information on its rise to popularity.I am cribbing this verbatim from emeco.com:
In 1944, Wilton Carlyle Dinges founded the Electrical Machine and Equipment Company (Emeco) in Hanover Pennsylvania utilizing the skills of local craftsman. During WWII the U.S government gave him a big assignment, make chairs that could withstand water, salt air and sailors. Make chairs lightweight and make them strong, build them for a lifetime. Aluminum was the obvious choice, engineered for practical purposes, designed by real people. Emeco named the chair with a number: 1006, some people call it the Navy chair. We still call it the Ten-o-six. Forming, welding, grinding, heat-treating, finishing, anodizing- just a few of the 77 step it takes to build an Emeco chair. No one else makes chairs this way. No one can. It takes a human eye to know when the process is done right, and it takes human hands to get it that way. Our goal. Make recycling obsolete and keep making things that last.
They have this super cool set of drawings for the original chair posted on their site too:
What I didn’t realize was that until Ian Schrager hired Philippe Starck to re-design the Paramount Hotel in 1990, you could only find the chair at police stations, hospitals, prisons and other government sties. Because the chairs last for several lifetimes, sales were in a real slump; no one ever needed a replacement chair! However, while Schrager was making hotels cool, Starck was making the 1006 Chair cool:
When the CEO of Emeco and Starck met in the hub-bub of ICFF, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship; Starck designed the Hudson Chair for Emeco:
as well as the Kong Chair:
Emeco has added using recycled material to their list of sustainable moves, the original move being that you never have to throw the 1006 Navy chair away, as its function and form never falter. Be on the lookout for the latest chair, the Broom Chair, designed by Starck, which is made of waste plastic and comes in an array of bodacious colors:
I will be adding the Broom Chair to my Wish List!