Functional design in artistic form

Premiere at the imm in Cologne - Wilkhahn re-issues the three-legged wooden chair designed by Walter Papst.

On the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the company's founding last year Wilkhahn issued a limited edition of designer Walter Papst's famous red 'rocking sculpture'. Now, a year after the death of this 'pioneer of modern functional form', the company is making available a further design icon. The three-legged chair made of solid wood comes in two versions – one for adults and one for children, a feature it shares with the original design from the year 1955. The two Papst chairs are made of beech and are available either in natural wood finish and in the colours black, gray, yellow and red.
Functional design in artistic form
The integrated base and the reinforcement of the rear legs of the chair ensure a high degree of robustness and durability.

The 'artistic shaping of functional form' was Walter Papst's credo and it had a strong influence on the design directions taken by Wilkhahn. His avant-garde designs, produced on an industrial scale in wood or polyester in the Fifties and Sixties, received many awards. In addition to their reduced, abstract form Papst was especially interested in their innovative finish and the ergonomic support which they provided for correct posture and movement. Last year Wilkhahn produced a new edition of the famous red 'rocking sculpture' to mark the hundredth anniversary of the company's founding.
Functional design in artistic form
To its unique form the 'Dreibeiner' adds a range of variable seating positions at adult and child height. In the background: rocking sculpture and bench sculpture by Walter Papst. Photo: Wilkhahn

Wilkhahn has also re-edited the wooden chair range from the year 1955. For this purpose Papst took as his inspiration the archetypal form of the chair – a three-legged stool made of wooden sections simply fitted together. This concept, which has been handed down through the ages, was transformed by Papst into an entirely new kind of chair, which combines clear form and lines with excellent craftsmanship and finish. Ergonomically, too, the Papst chair is remarkable: the curved backrest, the conically tapering rear legs and the form of the seat enable various seating positions, which promotes postural change. In addition the form of the seat suggests positioning the chairs in a circle, which supports interaction. Before new materials came to dominate the market the chair was produced by Wilkhahn over the years from 1955 to 1959 in separate versions for adults and children.

The re-edition of Programme 360 by Walter Papst can be viewed until 13 February 2009 at the KAP Forum Cologne as part of the exhibition "Work-Life-Table - Gestaltung im Wechsel der Kontexte“ (design in changing contexts).
Functional design in artistic form
Walter Papst, 1924 - 2008. Photo: Wilkhahn archive / The three-legged wooden chair represents a combination of innovative form, a variety of seating options and craftsmanlike finish. Photo: Wilkhahn
to KAP Forum cologne to KAP Forum cologne

The exhibition "montags beim Papst" (Mondays with Papst) at the Wilkhahn company premises in Bad Münder opens at 13.00 hrs on 16 February 2009.
to Wilkhahn collection to Wilkhahn collection

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