Frank O. Gehry is an internationally acclaimed architect and designer. His Wiggle side-chair is part of the Easy Edges furniture series he designed in 1972.
The 14 pieces of furniture that comprise the series are all constructed from corrugated cardboard.
While cardboard is not an obvious choice for furniture design, layering and gluing corrugated card in alternate directions provided Gehry with a remarkably strong and durable material that also has pleasing sculptural and sensory qualities. In the Wiggle side-chair these qualities are enhanced by the fluid lines and form of the chair’s design. With use, the surface texture of the cardboard actually becomes soft and suede-like.
The 1960s and 1970s were a period of great experimentation and innovation with materials and form in design. Gehry originally conceived the Easy Edge series as a range of low-cost furniture, however, it was ‘so immediately successful that Gehry withdrew them from production after just three months, fearing his success as a furniture designer would overshadow his reputation as an architect’ (Dunsmore 2006, p. 26).
A few of the pieces from the series, including the Wiggle side-chair, are now being produced under licence by the German design firm Vitra.
A. Dunsmore, 20th Century Chairs, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 2006.