Back to the future: the chairs of cristián valdés

I first saw these amazingly beautiful chairs in the Berkeley and Stinson Beach, California homes of my foremost mentor, whose very stylish wife had them sent from Chile.  I was so taken that I have never forgotten them.  15 years later, I still find them modern, sexy and best of all, collectable. Wouldn’t these be fab in an industrial minimalist loft?

Designed in 1977 by famed Chilean architect Cristián Valdés (and in the permanent collection of the MOMA), the chair is the result of analyzing the frame of a Dunlop tennis racket of the same period. The chair is a functional and structural translation of the racket utilizing laminated wood as a frame. I also think there is a wee bit of art nouveau influence in the organic curves that pervade its intricate design.
While still in production today (and by that I mean, still hand made the old fashion way in Chile), these chairs are quite difficult to find outside the country.  They come in natural (pictured) or dark brown leather. Other styles are also available, including a side chair version of the armed upright above.
image credit: Muebles Cristián Valdés