Industrial furniture received its name during the industrial revolution in 1760s and whilst its focus was to support manufacturing it ended up becoming a modernised way of making furniture combining metal frames with wooden tops. In the modern era, the style is popular all over the world. It could be said that it was popularised because of its minimalist look and design. The metal accents combined with the unfinished wooden surfaces and hardware created a unique style.
The first industrial furniture pieces appeared during the beginnings of the 20th century. A good example here is the Nicolle chair, which was created in 1913 by the Nicolle factory. This was a metal stool that had a functional form, as well as a backrest in the form of a whale’s tail. They eventually made a new version with an adjustable height and swivel seat.
Once WWII ended, there was a lot more focus on economic growth and building offices that were sturdy and reliable. The industrial furniture ideas fit right in, and the Remington Rand Chair is a prime example in this field. It was highly reliable and reputable, but at the same time it made things easier to manage and use.
However, styles started changing and people started shifting away from industrial furniture and focused more on other renditions of style. There were still industrial furniture products during the 70s, with a prime example being the Ruff Sawn Turnbuckle dining chair, which used metal accents alongside the solid wood structure.
During the 2000s, industrial furniture made a huge comeback. The reason was simple, minimalism was becoming more and more interesting, and people were focused on the idea of functionality and quality. Needless to say, industrial furniture managed to deliver all of this on all fronts. Another thing that helped push the limits was the environmental awareness, with people focusing more on the idea of repurposing stuff and finding new ways to breathe life into older items.
At this time, industrial furniture is still very popular and it continues to stand out as one of the most interesting and distinctive styles of all time. It’s great to see industrial furniture receiving the attention it deserves, since its beautiful, celebrates craftsmanship, and helps protect the environment.