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Spun Chair

This is a chair. It was manufactured by Magis S.p.A. and produced by Herman Miller Furniture Company. It is dated 2010 and we acquired it in 2012. Its medium is rotationally molded polyethylene. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

The fun and whimsical form of Thomas Heatherwick’s Spun chair, designed for Herman Miller Inc. in 2010, was inspired by Heatherwick’s interest in the process of metal spinning. Heatherwick wondered: if it was possible to make drums out of spun metal, was it possible to make a comfortable chair with a completely symmetrical rotational form?
Heatherwick developed the design for a chair that could rotate and be fully functional at all angles. Originally working with the London gallery, Haunch of Venison, Heatherwick had the design produced in highly polished metals. While collaborating with Italian furniture maker, Magis, Heatherwick decided to use rotationally-molded plastic instead of metal, and Spun was born.
Resembling a spinning top more than a chair, Spun is a creative and entertaining take on the art of sitting. This piece of industrial design, rendered in a material durable enough for indoor or outdoor use, shows that functional objects can be both fun and pieces of art in their own right. The form invites the sitter to spin and move; the act of sitting is no longer passive. Even when lounging in the bowl-shaped seat of the chair, the sitter must experiment and adjust to find a point of balance that keeps the chair at rest. The Spun chair is as conceptual as it is functional.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Fun Chair.

This object was donated by Herman Miller Furniture Company. It is credited Gift of Herman Miller, Inc..

  • Pastilli Rocking Chair
  • molded fiberglass-reinforced polyester.
  • Gift of The Lake St. Louis Historical Society.
  • 2001-31-2

Our curators have highlighted 11 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Chair, Size 2, R82 Scallop
  • shell: polypropylene; cushion: polyester and polyurethane; straps: polypropylene.
  • Gift of Convaid | R82.
  • s-e-2609

Its dimensions are

H x diam.: 66 x 91.4 cm (26 x 36 in.)

Cite this object as

Spun Chair; Manufactured by Magis S.p.A. (Italy); Produced by Herman Miller Furniture Company (United States); Italy; rotationally molded polyethylene; H x diam.: 66 x 91.4 cm (26 x 36 in.); Gift of Herman Miller, Inc.; 2012-18-1

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making Design.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Spun Chair |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=26 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>