The Art of Weaving - Gian Franco Legler's Iconic Basket Chair
Designer Gian Franco Legler was born in Switzerland, 1922. With a fascinating background spanning architecture and interior design, Legler's early designs still resonate today.
In 1951 when the Swiss/Italian designer was commissioned to design a chair for the Basket Restaurant in Italy, he appropriately contracted the local basket weavers and locksmiths to manufacture the first 52 chairs.
Quite quickly the chair became a success around the world and in 1953, Legler was awarded the Good Design Award for the Basket Chair by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Equally as important to Legler was the encouragement he received from Charles Eames for its design.
With exceptional comfort, the highly stackable chair is handwoven in natural rattan pulut, an unprocessed rattan species with an outer protective skin, this material is one of the most resilient weaving materials available.
Also known as ‘wicker’ rattan is a climbing palm with over 600 species that grows in tropical regions of Asia and Africa.
Ideal for use in furniture, rattan naturally embodies many of the properties high tech materials try to emulate. Its high strength and flexibility enables the formation of organic shapes that mould to the user’s body. Rattan’s excellent breathability and low thermal conductivity improve user comfort and help the body to maintain a constant temperature.
Rattan is a rapidly renewable resource that is 100% biodegradable. Its fast, climbing growth habit and potential as a Non Timber Forest Product (NTFP) can encourage sustainable forest practices that protect exiting vegetation.
The handwoven production process consumes minimal energy, provides employment to struggling local communities and helps to keep this traditional craft alive.
Today the Basket chair is manufactured by the Australian based Feelgood Designs, who since 2001 have produced rattan and wood furniture that makes people “feel good”, based on the belief that when people feel good, they work, relax and live better.