Curator, Juliet Kinchin: These chairs, designed by Mies van der Rohe, have been in almost constant production since they were first presented here in 1927. But at the time, I think many people were rather dubious about sitting on what seemed to be air and concerned about the stability of these designs.
Tubular steel was a wonderful material for lightening the overall weight of such furniture and adding a textural highlight to any interior composition. And tubular steel, like plywood and linoleum -- these new materials -- was also really hygienic, easy to move. So it works on all these fronts: it's innovation which is aesthetic, technological, and also speaks to a new way of living and moving around the interior.