The Garden Egg Chair was designed in 1968 by Peter Ghyczy and made of polyurethane, a material whose use Ghyczy pioneered. The chair was originally conceived as a suitcase in which one could sit, with cushions that could be folded up inside of the furniture rather than needing to be removed. However, as he experimented with the design, the egg shape emerged.
Ghyczy designed the chair for the West German Reuter Products, who then sold it to the GDR in 1971. VEB-Synthese-Werk, in Swarzheide, began mass manufacturing the chair.
The chair is designed to be both functional and fashionable. The hard polyurethane shell protects the chair, and when the top is flipped down, the chair becomes water proof, making it ideal for outdoor use. At the same time, the fabric-covered-foam interior seat is detachable and comes in a variety of colors (as does the outer shell), so that owners can customize their chairs.
It’s sleek, modern look calls to mind the space craze that accompanied the Space Race in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Our chair has a white exterior with blue cushions and can be seen on display in the vault.
The chair is still being produced today, now out of the Netherlands, and can be purchased at http://www.gardeneggchair.com/.
(If you are interested in fashion and design Eastern Europe, check out a previous blog post on Eastern European Textiles and Fashion in the 1950s!)