Fifty Years of Furniture Design Icons

A fusion of vintage design is defining the ‘grooviest’, ‘trendiest’, ‘baddest’, ‘bossest’ and ‘sickest’ (depending on your choice of decade) home and office spaces of today, thanks to an ever-growing thirst for combining the vintage furniture of the last fifty years or so. In consideration of this, Drunk Animal has picked out the design icons that reflected and defined the feel of each decade.

Sixties – Boborelax chair

The Boborelax chair couldn’t be more sixties. It’s an innovation in relaxation; the first ever monobloc chair. A single, bright block of colour, creating a silhouette that was made to lay back, relax and chill on. Its very design is a new-age revolution, throwing out old, stringent rules about how to use a chair. Straight backed, with your arms by your sides has no place here; you can use this to sit or lay on in any way you like. Stick it to the man, dude! The chair also notably rejects the old, tried and tested materials of the past, in favour of modern materials like polyurethane.

Seventies – Tizio lamp

The minimalist side of seventies furniture design took the shocking shapes and new materials of the sixties and boiled them down to objects that were purely practical and shapes that were simplistically hypnotic. The Tizio lamp is a brilliant example of this. The crane shaped wonder comprises very little, yet has good light reach and it bends into any shape. Everything is on show in the form of straight, scaffolding-like lines and weighty counterbalance ends. It all feels perfectly necessary and fitting for any space.

Eighties – Carlton wall unit

The Clash wasn’t just a band in the eighties, it was a whole design and fashion movement, and the designer of this wall unit, Ettore Sottsass, was at the helm. This massive, abrasive collage of bright, contrasting colours and sharp shapes is probably not what everyone remembers having in their home in the eighties. But when you think about it, it really does sum up the design attitudes of the bigger, badder, brighter decade quite well.

Nineties –Bookworm bookshelf

In the nineties, the voice of the people came to the fore as it hadn’t for a long time. They wanted excitement, creativity and a better future, and they wanted to be in control. Enter the Bookworm bookshelf; a colourful, futuristic shelf of plastic and steel that could be bent into any shape the owner wanted. It looked electrifying, like something out of a sci-fi film and buyers could manipulate and shape it to make it their own.

Naughties – Ploum sofa

The nineties pursuit of a free, exciting lifestyle had run its course by the millennium, with people realising what they wanted and how to get it. The following decade was one of niche and choice. One very popular niche was vintage revival; an artform into which this strangely familiar, yet alien, piece fits. With a modernist celebration of new materials, a classical overstuffed look, a post-modern asymmetry and a mid-century focus on form, this sofa could fit anywhere into the fifty years this article covers. As such, it seems like a perfect place to finish.