Dezeen Magazine

Wiggle Chair by Frank Gehry

Dezeen's A-Zdvent calendar: Wiggle Chair by Frank Gehry

With just two days until Christmas, today's offering from our A-Zdvent calendar is the cardboard Wiggle Chair by architect Frank Gehry.

Frank Gehry was one of the first designers to create functional furniture by sticking together layers of corrugated cardboard: the material he uses to make his sculptural architectural models.

"I began to play with it, to glue it together and to cut it into shapes with a hand saw and a pocket knife," he said.

The Los Angeles-based architect – whose most famous buildings include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in his home city – bonded together sixty layers of the strong, lightweight material to form the Wiggle Chair in 1972.

The chair is named after the shape of the seat, which loops back and forth to resemble loose folds. The form straightens out at the top to create the chair's back.

A layer of hardboard with the same profile is attached on each side to compact the layers of what Gehry named "edge board" and create a more durable surface.

The design is one of a series of cardboard furniture pieces designed by Gehry for his Easy Edges collection, which features 14 products built in the same way as a low-cost furniture solution.

The range gained Gehry an international reputation as a furniture designer, but the Canadian-born architect decided that it wasn't his calling.

"I started to feel threatened. I closed myself off for weeks at a time in a room to rethink my life. I decided that I was an architect, not a furniture designer... and I simply stopped doing it," said Gehry in a catalogue for a retrospective exhibition at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, in 1989.

The Wiggle Chair is now produced by Vitra, for whom Gehry has designed a set of buildings at the Swiss design brand's campus in Weil am Rhein.

Dezeen is publishing an A to Z of iconic chairs to count down the days until Christmas. Catch up with the list so far »