Side Chair 1972 (this exemplar ± 2005)
Frank Gehry CA/US
corrugated cardboard, fiberboard
purchase via Designcentrum Vlaanderen, 2008
With the series Easy Edges, architect Frank Gehry released his first furniture designs in 1972. Gehry is known for his use of non-traditional and sometimes poor materials. For Easy Edges, that was corrugated cardboard. “My intention”, he explained, “was to design the ultimate inexpensive furniture, something that could be sold cheaply and be acceptable to a mass market”. However, the pieces, which cost less than $100, were more popular than he had expected. Because he wanted to make a name for himself as an architect and not as a designer, he put an end to production. This made them scarce, the ironic but unintended consequence being that they were sought after as expensive collectibles. Around 1980 he tried out a second series with the name Experimental Edges, of which you can here see Red Beaver. This time Gehry’s motive was purely artistic: the pieces of furniture were sold unhesitatingly as artworks.
Paul Goldberger, Building art: the life and work of Frank Gehry, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, New York, 2015, pp. 161-186.