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Wiggle Stool

This is a stool. It was designed by Frank O. Gehry. It is dated 1972 and we acquired it in 2008. Its medium is cut corregated cardboard, masonite. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

The Wiggle stool is from architect Frank Gehry’s Easy Edges furniture series. In creating his laminated cardboard furniture, Gehry said his intent was to make “the Volkswagen of furniture” by utilizing a material that was inexpensive and easy to work with.[1] Rather than folding cardboard into boxy forms, however, Gehry was inspired by the layered construction of architectural models and worked with the material in laminated layers as if it were a solid. He used the exposed edges as his surface, achieving a highly textural effect. Gehry devised a construction method and an efficient die-cutting manufacturing system that allowed him to create a wide range of shapes, including the ribbon-like forms seen in the compressed curves of the Wiggle stool. Gehry’s cardboard furniture could be produced quickly and sold at low prices.
This stool relates to two examples of Gehry’s laminated cardboard seating held by the museum at the time of proposed acquisition: a side chair (1988-79-1) and a lounge chair (1988-79-2). The Wiggle stool’s form is far less conventional in comparison, with its whiplash curves. The three pieces together would provide a good range of seating forms that could be achieved through Gehry’s cardboard construction and manufacturing methods.
[1]“Giants of American Design,” House Beautiful, June 2006.

It is credited The Linda and Irwin R. Berman Stool Collection.

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  • layered paper, partially glued, cut, and fanned-open accordion style; seat....
  • Mueum purchase from Friends of Product Design and Decorative Arts Fund....
  • 2008-6-1
  • Textile, Cloned Line
  • cotton.
  • Museum purchase through gift of Mrs. Florence Matthews, Mrs. Edward Stern,....
  • 1996-105-1

Our curators have highlighted 4 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Silk Necklace, 2002
  • smithed, impressed and enameled gold, magnets (clasp).
  • Promised gift to the Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian....
  • 7067.145.2016
  • Fausto Stool
  • polished cast bronze, sheepskin upholstery.
  • The Linda and Irwin R. Berman Stool Collection.
  • 2013-50-10

Its dimensions are

Overall: 40.5 x 43.5 x 36.2 cm (15 15/16 x 17 1/8 x 14 1/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Wiggle Stool; Designed by Frank O. Gehry (American, b. Canada, 1929); USA; cut corregated cardboard, masonite; Overall: 40.5 x 43.5 x 36.2 cm (15 15/16 x 17 1/8 x 14 1/4 in.); The Linda and Irwin R. Berman Stool Collection; 2008-32-3

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Wiggle Stool |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=18 August 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>