Stephens Chair

You may remember a post from last week entitled – Know Knoll, where I asked if anyone recognized the chairs we had scooped up from a thrift store. Well Sally Hale, Director of Camp Sunshine, sent the blog post to a friend. I want to thank Mary Kay Ingalls of Katherine Ingalls/Design Consultant for providing detailed information on the chair. It is exciting to ask for help with the identity of the object and get such wonderful, concrete information from a local design expert. Thanks Mary Kay and Sally. Read on to know more about our Knoll.

Designer - William Stephens

William Stephens is the designer. It is called the Stephens Chair.

The following is a quote from information that Mary Kay had on file for the chair.

“Intrigued with the possibilities of laminated wood, Bill Stephens made his first sketches and models of these deceptively simple chairs in 1965, five years after joining Knoll’s Design Development Group.”

“With a thoroughness that bespeaks his Pennsylvania background, Mr. Stephens has explored his materials to acheive a direct design solution. Chosen by Industrial Design’s 14th Annual review for the exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the chairs combine grace with exceptional strength. The wood frame both utilizes and enhances laminated wood; an ingenious upholstery system provides for fabric which is tucked in around the edges of the shell.”

The chairs your sister-in-law has purchased also have an armless side chair version and a lounge chair version. One of the unique aspects of this chair is the laminated wood that makes for a very strong chair yet a very light and delicate frame. This chair was used a great deal in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s for commercial interiors.

Here is more information I found on the Knoll website:
Designer: Stephens, Bill
Date of Design: 1970
Date of Manufacture: 1972-1988
Model Number: 1305U
Materials: Laminated oak frame, upholstered molded plastic shell
Dimensions: W 22 1/8″, D 22″, H 32″
After failing in early prototypes, Stephens changed the seat of the 1301 chair from cane to a plastic shell which, when connected to the wood frame, formed a stronger structure for the chair. Initial use was at the Yale University School of Architecture student center.

Thanks again. Love it when a mystery is solved!
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