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Panton Chair
Iconic Designs

Panton Chair

About the Design

Appearing as if it were a three-dimensional brushstroke of paint, the S-shaped Panton chair is just one curved piece of plastic that cantilevers over itself to form a seat. Prior to its development by experimental Danish designer Verner Panton (1926–98), no chair had ever been crafted from a single piece of molded plastic. “I want to design furniture that grows up out of the floor,” Panton said of his work. “To turn the furniture into something organic, which never has four legs.” The designer, who studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen before working for Arne Jacobsen’s architecture firm, started experimenting with the concept of single-piece plastic chairs in the late 1950s, drafting sketches of what eventually became his signature eponymous work before creating a full-scale polystyrene model. But he ran into production trouble — no manufacturer would tackle the chair’s challenging engineering problems. Plastic was still a relatively new invention at the time, having been introduced to mass markets in the postwar era when most furniture makers still preferred to work in wood.


Enter Swiss furniture company Vitra, which agreed to take on the project in 1963. It took four years — and ten prototypes — but Vitra and Panton were ultimately successful, creating a Panton chair made from fiberglass-reinforced polyester. It debuted in Danish design magazine Mobilia in 1967 and then at the 1968 Cologne Furniture Fair. The chair embodied a seductive combination of the era’s popular Space Age and Pop Art aesthetics through its undulating form, futuristic material and punchy colors, resulting in mass demand for the relatively affordable piece of furniture. While it was discontinued in 1979 due to durability issues, the chair was reintroduced years later and Vitra has continued to manufacture it, experimenting with materials ranging from polyurethane foam to polypropylene in conjunction with Panton throughout the course of his lifetime. For the chair’s 50th anniversary, Vitra produced limited-edition chrome and glow-in-the-dark models.


The chair has become a celebrity in itself: It was featured on the cover of British Vogue in 1995 — with a nude Kate Moss atop it — and in 2006, it was inducted into the Danish Culture Canon. Numerous design museums hold the chair in their collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Design Museum in London and more. As far as chairs go, particularly those designed during the 1960s and 1970s, there are few better known and more beloved than the Panton.


Panton Chair

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Mid Century Modern Orange Panton Chair by Verner Panton for Vitra
By Verner Panton, Vitra
Located in London, GB
The Panton chair was designed by Verner Panton in 1960 and developed for production with Vitra in 1967, making history as the first chair to be manufactured in a single piece from pl...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Chairs

Materials

Plastic

Mid Century Modern White Panton Chairs by Verner Panton for Vitra
By Verner Panton, Vitra
Located in London, GB
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss

Materials

Plastic

Mid Century Modern Red Panton Chairs by Verner Panton for Vitra
By Verner Panton, Vitra
Located in London, GB
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss

Materials

Plastic

Panton Chair
By Verner Panton
Located in Copenhagen, DK
This piece has been exhibited at the Danish Design Museum Copenhagen The Panton chair is an important icon of modern design and has a fascinating history as Verner Panton experi...
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Mid-Century Modern Chairs

Materials

Foam, Lacquer

Verner Panton Pair of Suede Leather Bachelor Chairs, 1957
By Verner Panton
Located in Madrid, ES
An outstanding pair of bachelor chairs. Iron base and suede leather. Designer Verner Panton. Outstanding.
Category

Vintage 1950s Danish Mid-Century Modern Chairs

Materials

Iron

Classic Mid-Century Modern Verner Panton Chair in Red, Vitra Production
By Verner Panton
Located in St. Louis, MO
The Classic Mid-Century Modern cantilevered Panton S chair, up to 13 chairs available. This Vitra edition was revised in 1999, the last version authorized by Verner Panton. Great for...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Plastic

Set of Four Chairs Designed by Verner Panton for Herman Miller, USA, 1960s
By Verner Panton
Located in Stockholm, SE
Pair of chairs designed by Verner Panton for Herman Miller, USA, 1960s. ABS plastic. Sold as a set. Measures: H 83cm/ 32 1/2" W 49cm/ 19 1/4" D 50cm/ 19 1/4" 32.68 in. H x ...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Chairs

Materials

Plastic

Panton Chairs Classic
By Vitra, Verner Panton
Located in Denver, CO
Set of six Classic Panton chairs In the early 1960s, the Danish designer Verner Panton together with the Vitra Development Team, realized an idea which had preoccupied him for ma...
Category

Vintage 1960s European Chairs

Materials

Plastic

Mid-Century Modern Verner Panton Cream Dining Set or Card Table by Herman Miller
By Herman Miller, Verner Panton
Located in Philadelphia, PA
A very early complete dining set designed by Verner Panton and Produced by Herman Miller and Vitra. A nice early example in off-white dyed polystyrene. Complete set sold as shown, fo...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Sets

Materials

Glass, Polystyrene

Panton Chair
By Verner Panton
Located in Highland, IN
The Panton chair is an important icon of modern design and has a fascinating history as Verner Panton experimented with a variety of materials to best realize the design. The most co...
Category

Late 20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Chairs

Materials

Foam, Paint

Orange Verner Panton S Chairs. Herman Miller. ONLY THREE LEFT!
By Herman Miller, Verner Panton
Located in Kansas City, MO
Three available. The earliest version of the Iconic S chair in orange designed by Verner Panton, made by Vitra and sold by Herman Miller. Each chair is embossed with the Herman Mil...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs

Materials

Plastic

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