There is no denying that Verner Panton‘s eponymous Panton Chair is a classic. It not only embodies the essence of the ‘space age’ design movement of the 60’s and 70’s, but signifies a major turning point in furniture manufacturing as one of the first one piece plastic chairs (some argue that honor goes to Joe Columbo, and others say Vico Magistretti). Who was first is unimportant — because regardless, the Panton Chair has helped pave the way for countless innovations in plastic furniture. After the concept was developed by Panton in 1960, it took Vitra seven years of research and experimentation before they could successfully produce the chair, eventually releasing it to a highly receptive public in 1967. The original production models were made of a fibreglass-reinforced polyester, and the chair has gone through several iterations until the reaching today’s version; now molded from ABS plastic. This new injection molding process, made possible by the advances in the plastics industry since the chair was originally designed, allows the Panton to be made far more economically than was previously possible. Furthermore, it’s now 100% recyclable too — though please feel free to just send them my way when you want to get rid of them.
All images are care of Vitra