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From the carefully considered idea to the design Icon. Not everything that appears new and completely different has what it takes to become a perennial classic. Many items of furniture and utility objects that were initially celebrated as breaking new ground vanished without a trace just a short time later. Yet they do exist. Those special things that make all the diff erence. Objects that everyone is familiar with but have nevertheless been inspiring enthusiasm for decades.


Design originals embody the essence of their time yet are so timelessly beautiful that we want to surround ourselves with them for the rest of our days. Despite their renown, they remain the unsung heroes of everyday life. But what do they have that other items don’t? Is it their striking form? Their unique function? The way they blend elegantly with their surroundings? It is rather the essence of many characteristics that makes originals what they are.


The S 32 cantilever chair is one of the most significant design innovations of the 20th century. Its streamlined shape, which flouts all the stylistic conventions of the epoch, is still considered modern 90 years on.


Thonet S 32 – The unstoppable drive to innovate

A design original breaks all conventions


Tubular steel was a totally new material in the 1920s. Among the first to experiment with it was Marcel Breuer, designer and Bauhaus architect. He was relentless when it came to questioning the familiar and established. While his first blueprints were still rigid tubular constructions, later he came to conceive the idea of the cantilever chair.

Thonet realized its potential before bringing the famous design originals, S 32 and S 64, onto the market in 1930.

What's worth noting is that the chair remains sturdy and rigid, despite its lack of back legs. Breuer's innovative creative process, combined with skilled craftsmanship, produced a well thought-through design, which creates a lasting impression through a mix of bent tubular steel, wood and wicker.


"It is harder to build a good chair than it is to build a skyscraper."


Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Architekt and Bauhaus Director