How Should We Live? Propositions for the Modern Interior

*Cantilevered Chairs for the Velvet-Silk Cafe*

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Cantilevered Chairs for the Velvet-Silk Cafe. 1927 3310

View of the original Velvet-Silk Café. 1927. Courtesy Helmut Reuter

*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.

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