Thonet Bauhaus 100
The unique success story of Thonet began with the work of master joiner Michael Thonet (1796 –1871), which established the transition from manual furniture production to industrial production. Michael Thonet succeeded in making the breakthrough to industrial production in 1859 in Vienna with chair No. 14, later called the “Vienna Coffee House Chair”, for which the innovative technique of bending solid beech wood was used. The individual production steps were standardised and the division of labour concept was implemented for the first time in furniture production. In addition, the chair was easy to disassemble and could be shipped in a space-saving way. Chair No.14 cleared the way for Thonet to become a global enterprise, and numerous successful bentwood designs followed. Tubular steel furniture is the second constant in Thonet’s programme. In the 1930s, the company was the world’s largest producer of this innovative furniture, which was designed by a number of famous architects including Mart Stam, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer. Today, the early tubular steel furniture designs are considered milestones in design history. Their clear, open and simple forms were an expression of a new attitude in everyday culture and architecture, which became famous under the catchphrase “New Objectivity”. Currently, numerous successful classic models are still in the programme, among them the first cantilever chair S 33 for which Mart Stam was awarded the artistic copyright for its form and basic principle, as well as models S 32 and S 64 by Marcel Breuer.