Marcel Breuer

Marcel Breuer (1902-1981), born in Hungary and trained at the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany, is heralded as having produced the first tubular steel armchair, his pieces pioneering the demand for tubular steel furniture throughout the 1920s and 1930s. These pieces, along with his innovative laminated wood furniture and his unique architectural interpretation of light and space yielded a great deal of international respect and inspired the work of a wide range of designers.

Breuer studied under Walter Gropius at the Bauhaus from 1920-24. When the Bauhaus moved to Dessau in 1925, Breuer designed furniture for the new campus and became head of the furniture workshop, a position that he held until 1928. Also in 1925, Breuer created the famous tubular steel Wassily chair, purportedly inspired both by constructivist aesthetics and by the handlebars of his new bike. The chair was innovative in that it was extremely light, and was built entirely from ready-made tubes that were welded together. Several different companies sold the piece until it was picked up by Knoll.

In 1928 he started a private practice in Berlin and came out with his Cesca cantilever chair and stool, named after his daughter and probably inspired by Mies Van der Rohe. He moved to America and worked as an architect with Gropius and taught at Harvard. 

His work remains relevant due to his flexible structural philosophy that, 'a chair...should not be horizontal/vertical, nor should it be expressionist, nor constructivist, nor designed purely for expediency, nor made to 'match' a table it should be a good chair.'