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Prototype Wall Board, Shelf by Otto Zapf, Germany, 1968



Prototype wall board by Otto Zapf, 1968. This size was never in production. Very good original condition, original light grey color. Otto Zapf came from a family of carpenters who had immigrated from the Sudetenland to Eschborn near Frankfurt am Main. His professional career also began in his father's company before he began to build up his name as an industrial designer in 1956. This was especially in the 60s with his system furniture e.g. "Pilorama" (cushion landscape) or especially the furniture system "Softline", which opened the international market for him. With the "Zapf Office System" designed by him, 7,500 workstations at "Pacific Telephone" in the USA were equipped, the most extensive order in furniture history to date . The company also designed office furniture systems for the US manufacturer Cadwallader, e.g. for major corporations such as CBS (television station), General Motors or IBM. Highlights of his work can be admired in the “Museum für für Angewandte Kunst” in Frankfurt or in the “Pinakothek der Moderne” in Munich. Otto Zapf, born 1931 in today's Czech Republic, graduated from high school in 1949 in Kronberg Ts. and then studied physics and mathematics at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, parallel to his work as a carpenter. In 1955 Otto Zapf met Dieter Rams, who was responsible for design at Max Braun oHG, an interior designer. Two years later, he moved near to the "RZ-Möbelvertriebs GmbH" founded by the two of them. There, Rams developed furniture that could be extended to suit the living situation and that was also easy to transport, as it could be assembled and dismantled by the customer. In 1970 Zapf left the company to develop his own furniture designs for other manufacturers. His great achievements also include the "Office Chair Collection" (1976), following the presentation of the "Office Chair" in 1974 in the then new foyer of the "World Trade Center" in New York. In 1977 he designed the "Management Office" shelving system and for his "Lobbytop" chair range he received the design prize "Die gute Industrieform". His seating programs all originated from his motto that the backrest should constantly support the seated person, even "follow him" ("Follow-me principle"). Until old age, he always worked out new solutions for this motto. He died in the summer of 2018 in his home town in the Taunus region (Hessia) near Frankfurt.


  • Creator
    Otto Zapf (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 9.45 in. (24 cm)Width: 47.25 in. (120 cm)Depth: 15.75 in. (40 cm)
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
    Very good condition.
  • Seller Location
    Frankfurt / Dreieich, DE
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU980813896231

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $870 Front Door Shipping
    to Continental US, arrives in 4-6 weeks.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Frankfurt / Dreieich, Germany
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
4.9 / 5
Located in Frankfurt / Dreieich, Germany
Platinum Seller
This distinction is for experienced sellers who continually surpass customer expectations.
Established in 2005
1stDibs seller since 2013
288 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 2 hours
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