1989 - Present
Photo courtesy FOGA
Inspired by the qualities of the bushel baskets on which he had played as a child in Toronto, Frank Gehry had been thinking for almost a decade prior to the creation of his new Knoll furniture pieces about making lightweight wood furniture. Early sketches illustrate his concept of organically weaving the material together to overcome the artificial separation of support structure and seat that had characterized much laminated furniture.
Gehry's ideas, based on his believe that the lighter a piece is, the easier it is to make and that by cutting it to its essence, the structure is at its ultimate, failed to find the support of furniture manufacturers. Without a means to verify his concept in full-scale, these ideas went nowhere until the spring of 1989, when Knoll visited Gehry to discuss the creation of a new line of furniture.
In the fall of 1989, Knoll opened a workshop next door to Gehry's studio, affording him the kind of hands-on, day to day involvement he wanted with the project. A few months into the project, Gehry discovered that by laminating thin strips of maple veneer and weaving them like a basket, he was able to create continuous structures that integrated the chair's seat, back and frame. One hundred twenty prototypes were produced over the next two years, culminating in the development of the Hat Trick, High Sticking, Cross Check, Power Play, King and Offside chairs and the Face Off table, all of which were introduced to the public during the spring of 1992.
|Client:||The Knoll Group
Maurice C. Bards, Chairman and CEO