In fact, tastes are predictable enough that you can often tell a designer’s favorite chair maker from his or her shirt. Black button-down? Mies van der Rohe. Black turtleneck? Peter Opsvik. Low-cut black V-neck and conspicuous hair product? Campanas. Every design school graduate wants a cool-looking chair in their portfolio, and chair design can be a savagely competitive field. If you can be bothered to read to the back of Wallpaper Magazine, I imagine you’ll find the page where they list all the job openings for the position of Famous Designer: “Need not apply unless strangely enthusiastic about crafting beautiful, terrible furniture for rich people.”
I hate to piss on the party, but chairs suck. All of them. No designer has ever made a good chair, because it is impossible. Some are better than others, but all are bad. Not only are chairs a health hazard, they also have a problematic history that has inextricably tied them to our culture of status-obsessed individualism. Worse still, we’ve become dependent on them and it’s not clear that we’ll ever be free.