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Designs for life: there’s inspiration in everything

Which 25 designs do you think shape our world?

09. 07. 24

We've written before about how Furniture Fusion began, and what drives us. We're surrounded by creative forces and being aware of these helps us appreciate what's around us and informs our approach to projects.

So this Architectural Digest article provided plenty of food for thought - which 25 designs do you think shape our world? It's hard to argue against the iPhone, Swiss Army Knife or Kindle (we're willing to bet you own at least one of these), but we might not have predicted the High Line or the Empire State Building. Both are now familiar fixtures in New York, but their influence reaches way beyond the Big Apple.

Empire State Building (Christian Ladewig, Unsplash)

Although the Empire State Building wasn't the first skyscraper, and hasn't been the tallest in the world since 1970, it's remained an iconic emblem of the city and the way it was built has informed construction projects for almost a century. Completed in just one year and 45 days, thanks to a team design process that brought together architects, owners, engineers and builders - it's the sort of collaborative approach that we love to be part of and that brings the best results. Last year’s HIX event saw us working with the talented teams at three different design studios to create something special for our stand - definitely one of our highlights of 2023.

Font fans will be thrilled to see Helvetica included at #3 on the list - the Swiss-designed typeface is so famous it had its own documentary, and is used by brands from BMW, American Apparel and 3M and to Fendi, Mattel and Jeep. Iconic design brand Herman Miller has revived its use of the font for an updated logo to mark the company’s 100th anniversary - the clean lines and clear, neutral feel of the classic font mean it works for businesses and brands across the board.

We're happy to see furniture making its way onto the list four times - it shows how much we care about the pieces that surround us at home, at work and at play. Scandi style-hunters won't be surprised to see Ikea's Poang chair included, and the Aeron chair is still an object of desire thirty years after its launch, but we think the other two may be a little less well known - yet still incredibly influential.

Our Pippi Side Chair

Looking at our own collection, we knew there would be something that echoes the classic Thonet chair - this ubiquitous piece is found in brasseries, bars and restaurants worldwide, with its instantly recognisable bentwood back and woven seat. The Pippi Side Chair shares a similar silhouette, with a playful, contemporary edge - but here the cane seat and polished wood are replaced with a fabric-upholstered frame.

We love the punchy colours and textured fabrics included in the collection - a brilliant choice for any hospitality interior.

Pippi Side Chair

While we're not in the business of dupes, we love to see how design inspiration filters through, albeit with a twist to add something new - like the added back detail in this elegant Her Chair.

Her Side Chair

Eero Saarinen's pedestal or 'tulip' table for Knoll was borne from a desire to eliminate the clutter of legs beneath a table - what Saarinen described as an "ugly, confusing, unrestful world". As well as looking great, his Tulip table is a really practical solution - the central pedestal gives freedom to guests and operators in table setting.

The Clarion Coffee Table consists of a trumpet base that's shared by all pieces in the collection - finished with a large table top that's round, oval or boat-shaped.

There are options for conference and dining tables, bistro, counter and bar tables, plus some lower coffee tables, so there's something to suit every interior.

Clarion Coffee Tables

The final chair that makes the cut of 25 designs to shape our world is Herman Miller's Aeron chair - are you sitting on one right now? Since its release in 1994 it's become a workplace fixture, popping up in movies and on TV too.

Our Mirage Office Chair also features a breathable mesh back and seat plus height adjustable arms, seat slide functionality and an anti-shock, synchronised reclining mechanism. Super comfortable and it looks the part - perhaps this could become Bond's new office chair of choice?

Mirage Office Chair

We found more furniture favourites in this Future roundup of the greatest designs of all time - with the classic Eames Fibreglass Armchair making it to number four after a trio of tech picks. The moulded plastic and fibreglass seat still appeals more than 70 years after it launched. 

Our Shoreditch Side Chair features a polypropylene shell available in a range of colours, and a choice of bases, including the powder-coated legs shown here - the tapered shape gives a nod to the Eames’ icon.

Shoreditch Side Chair

The list also includes one of the most simple, yet instantly recognisable pieces of furniture in recent years - Alvar Aalto’s Stool 60 has been described as “a seat, table, storage unit; democratic, cheap, stackable” - a checklist of desirable qualities in a piece that was designed an incredible 90 years ago.

Our Puccio Stool shares a simplicity of design - choose from a lacquered steel or solid ash base and three different heights. It’s a piece that works perfectly in so many commercial and residential projects and showcases classic clean lines.

Puccio Stool

This longer list includes two IKEA classics (hello Poang chair and Billy bookcase) plus two further stylish seats - the brilliant Box Chair by Enzo Mauri and Saarinen’s covetable Womb Chair. There’s a clear contrast in style between the two - our Slim Side Chair also features a perforated seat and backrest while our Seg Lounge Chair has an enveloping, cosy and comfortable feel that invites guests to linger for longer.

Slim Side Chair
Seg Lounge Chair

To keep up to date with our latest collection and new additions to our contract furniture range, join our mailing list and look out for our regular email newsletters, or follow us on Instagram.

Main image by Thanos Pal on Unsplash.

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