March 25, 2023


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Stepping Into the House Age

What do you get once you mix a well-established, in style furnishings firm and an avant-garde designer? Nicely, the result’s a forward-thinking, distinctive and basic piece that turns into iconic. Enter the Kagan Chromcraft Sculpta Unicorn chair . . . also referred to as the Chromcraft “Star Trek” chair.

Chromcraft first launched this chair in 1966 as the corporate was taking off with its in style “dinette” furnishings units. Established in 1908, Chromcraft had turn out to be the go-to firm for a lot of mid-century households trying to buy reasonably priced, but high quality, dinette items and was quickly increasing its manufacturing capabilities to satisfy the growth in demand.

The chair’s distinctive swivel motion was pioneered by Chromcraft. (Picture courtesy of Metro Retro Furnishings.)

In a collaboration with Vladimir Kagan, a famend furnishings designer recognized particularly for wood-framed chairs, Chromcraft created the Sculpta dinette set, which featured these futuristic chairs. Probably the most hanging facet is maybe their aluminum “V” base, lending itself to the “unicorn” nickname. It offers the chair the looks of motion—a type of pushing ahead into the long run—which is maybe why it was so interesting to the set designers of the unique “Star Trek” tv present.

Featured in a number of episodes, together with some of the well-known (“The Hassle with Tribbles”), the chair matches in completely with the space-age aesthetic of the present due to its smooth strains and distinctive profile. “Star Trek’s” use of this chair helped propel the Chromcraft model right into a family identify.

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black and white advertisement for the Sculpta chair by Chromcraft
This commercial showcases the Sculpta and its “energetic” design. (Picture courtesy of Metro Retro Furnishings.)

The chair has extra to supply than simply its appears: The sturdy high quality of its supplies—the button-tufted vinyl upholstery and laminate-and-cast aluminum base—makes it a sensible choice for a eating chair. It additionally has a swivel-tilt mechanism created by Chromcraft that permits the seat to show round after which mechanically return to its forward-facing place.

It’s no surprise this chair turned an icon, not solely of the space-age aesthetic that characterizes a portion of Mid Century Fashionable design, but in addition of an period that celebrated all the chances and new horizons of the long run.

color advertisement for Chromcraft dinettes
Chromcraft’s prominence as a “dinette” furnishings producer grew within the post-World Battle II interval. (Picture courtesy of Chromcraft House.)

Love studying concerning the House Age? Don’t miss Settling A House-Age House With Gems New + Outdated, Rudolph Schindler: The Revolutionary House-Age Architect and A Collector’s House Age Workplace.

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