With his iconic seating collection, Harry Bertoia transformed industrial wire rods into a new furniture form. The events that made this work possible began a decade earlier at Cranbrook Academy of Art when Bertoia met Florence Knoll (then Florence Schust). Years later, the Italian-born designer was invited to work for Florence and her husband Hans Knoll. Bertoia was given the freedom to work on whatever suited him, without being held to a strict design agenda, and the result of this arrangement was the Bertoia Seating Collection (1952). Featuring a delicate filigreed appearance that’s supremely strong, these airy seats are sculpted out of steel rods. In his art, Bertoia experimented with open forms and metal work, and these chairs were an extension of that work. “If you look at the chairs, they are mainly made of air, like sculpture,” said Bertoia. “Space passes through them.” After designing his seating collection, Bertoia returned to focusing mostly on sculpture. This is the authentic Bertoia Asymmetric Chaise produced by Knoll. The Knoll logo is stamped into its base. Chaise made in Italy; seat pad made in U.S.A.
This masterpiece of midcentury experimental design remained a prototype for more than 50 years. Knoll brought it into production in 2005.
The White frame can be used outdoors with limited exposure to the elements. The Chrome frame is not for outdoor use.
Welded steel rods; polished chrome finish with chrome connections or bonded Rilsan® finish with stainless steel connections; vinyl seat pad (65% polyester; 35% rayon).
Italian artist and furniture designer, Harry Bertoia, was 37 years old when he designed the patented Diamond chair for Knoll in 1952. An unusually beautiful piece of furniture, it was strong yet delicate in appearance, and an immediate commercial success in spite of being made almost entirely by hand. With the Diamond chair, Bertoia created an icon of modern design and introduced a new material, industrial wire mesh to the world of furniture design.
Bertoia's career began in the 1930.s as a student at the Cranbrook Academy of Art where he re-established the metal-working studio and, as head of that department, taught from 1939 until 1943 when it was closed due to wartime restrictions on materials. During the war, Bertoia moved to Venice, California, and worked with Charles and Ray Eames at the Evans Products Company, developing new techniques for molding plywood. Read more >