There are fewer examples of a sustainable design than the Thonet Chair. It is beautiful, classic, minimal and made from renewable wood.

Thonet chair

The Thonet bentwood chair #14 is a minimalist design. It is just six pieces of wood held together by ten screws and two nuts.

It was first produced in 1859 and by 1930 fifty million of them had been made.

The Thonet #14 was, and still is, an egalitarian design, it is both attractive enough and inexpensive enough to appeal to everyone from aristocrats to schoolteachers.

It was innovative at the time. Michael Thonet perfected a process of bending wood into strong, smooth curves. By making the chair from the fewest parts possible and standardising their shapes he devised a blueprint for efficient mass-production.

They are made of wood, a renewable material, the earliest ones were made in a factory in the village of Koritschan in what is now the Czech Republic from beech wood grown in nearby forests.

The design features efficient and minimalist use of materials, it breaks down for easy, efficient shipping (30 of them could fit in a one square metre box). They are strong and durable but very light. They are beautiful as well as being useful and comfortable.

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