Elegant and curvy, the Golem chair is both functional and stylish. It’s an everyday object made for industrial production and with industrial style in mind. It represents what the Italian designer Vico Magistretti stood for. He believed in modernism; an architectural and design movement focused on minimalism, innovation, and functionality. No decorations, no frills, and no patterns. With modernism (and later concept design), the focus is on the object.
This chair designed by Magistretti doesn’t follow any rules. It’s not Italian tradition, but modern Italian design made for the industry and the masses. Plus, it’s where producers and creators work together to bring something new to the international stage. It’s simple because it symbolizes industrial style, relevant even decades later.
The Specs of The Golem Chair
This design creation speaks for itself. It features a wood structure, solid and comfortable. Even traditional, at least in Italy. The high and long backrest is shaped to adapt to the seated position, ensuring the person fits like a cocoon. The seat is padded and covered in plastic fabric or black leather. The Golem chair is, indeed, elegant and functional.
Magistretti created it to fit every room and style, from the office to the modern living room. The exciting detail is the polyurethane lacquer, in this case in black. Usually, these two techniques don’t go together, but the Golem chair by Magistretti is the exception. Both polyurethane and lacquer are a finish, the perfect coat of paint. On the one hand, lacquer is durable, water-resistant, and has a clear undertone. Polyurethane is just as durable, but it’s ideal for wood. It almost creates a shell which makes it resistant to water and abrasions. It’s the perfect topcoat finish.
In the Golem chair, the Italian designer used both techniques to ensure his creation would be resistant, resistant to scratches, and even shiny. These qualities make this everyday object unique and a true symbol of modern Italian design.
The History of It
The Golem chair inspiration comes from the work of Scottish designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Vico Magistretti had visited an exhibition about him, and he admired his work. Mackintosh (1868-1928) was an architect and designer before the Modern Movement to which, later, Magistretti would adhere. The Scottish creator loved designing chairs, the focal point in rooms and spaces. It all began with one chair, filled with geometric forms.
The Golem chair takes inspiration from this aesthetic and ideals. Plus, the Italian creator took inspiration from Japanese design, especially during the postwar era. After 1945, Japanese designers focused on symmetrical composition, harmonious color palettes, and meticulous craftsmanship. Each of these details inspired the Italian designer.
Magistretti believed in the power of everyday objects, and chairs were his favorite piece to create. Like Mackintosh, the Italian creator used shapes and forms to deliver his concept. He made this model for the Italian company Poggi in 1968, forty years after Mackintosh’s death. Still, the connection between the two is undeniable, and so is the object’s beauty, which is both functional and elegant.
The design company Poggi also worked with other famous modern-era designers, such as Franco Albini, Afra and Tobia Scarpa, and Marco Zanuso. Meanwhile, A Lot of Brazil reissued the Golem chair in 2013. The Brazilian brand produced it as a limited edition. This version features a multilaminate backrest and a solid wood structure. Furthermore, it presents a seat covered in eco-leather, a contemporary material. Just as elegant and functional as the 1968 predecessor, the 2013 Golem chair never ceases to inspire. From Mackintosh to Magistretti, and the story isn’t over.