Cubic form, clear design, fine proportions, and flexing movement: The development of the perfected cantilever chairs S 33 and S 34, among the first of their kind, today combines zeitgeist and a sense of tradition. “Why four legs if two will suffice?”, wrote artist Kurt Schwitters in 1927 after seeing the first cantilever chairs in furniture history. The two chairs S 33 and S 34 caused a sensation at the Werkbund exhibit at the Weissenhof Estate in Stuttgart. Starting in 1925, Mart Stam experimented with small diameter gas pipes, and at first he connected them with standard pipe fittings as used by plumbers. As a further development, Stam created cantilevered chairs that no longer stood on four legs, and it was a construction principle that became an important building block in the history of modern furniture design with its formal restraint. His cantilever chairs S 33 and S 34 were more than matter-of-fact designed interior design objects; they were part of the overall revolutionary concept of a new attitude towards architecture and life.
*Artistic copyright Mart Stam
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Mart Stam, born 1899 in Purmerend in the Netherlands, was among the leaders of Modern Architecture and a pioneer in contemporary furniture design. He attracted much attention in 1927 with his architectural contribution to the Weißenhof Estate in Stuttgart both as an architect and as a designer experimenting with tubular steel. In 1928 and 1929 he worked as an architect in Frankfurt, where he helped build the Hellerhof housing estate, among other projects. At the same time he served as a guest lecturer at the Bauhaus, teaching elementary construction theory and urban planning. From 1930 to 1934, Mart Stam was active in Russia and other countries; he subsequently worked as an architect in Amsterdam until 1948. In 1939 he assumed the top position at the Academy of Arts and Crafts in Amsterdam, and in 1950 he was named director of the Conservatory for Applied Art in Berlin-Weißensee. He returned to Amsterdam in 1953 but emigrated to Switzerland in 1977, where he died on February 23, 1986, in Goldach. *Artistic copyright Mart Stam