Recently, I wrote an article for this website on the best dining chairs — a process that involved talking to vintage dealers, architects, and chair-book writers about their favorite designs. As a result, my chair Rolodex is now deep enough that I’ve become known as the Strategist’s resident seat-IDer, something I’ve found I can’t turn off even when I leave work. My favorite neighborhood oyster bar has vintage Thonet café chairs; there are a bunch of Mullca French school chairs at Le Dive in Dimes Square; when I look at photos of Rosalind Krauss’s tyrannically curated loft, I notice a set of Marcel Breuer’s cane-backed Cescas around her dinner table. But I hadn’t realized how bad it had gotten until I started watching Westworld and got distracted by the design chairs. I’ve identified ten of them here, by scrubbing through episodes for a better shot of a leg or seat, then cross-referencing those images against product pages and endless Archiproducts tabs.
The first season of Westworld tends toward antiques and pre-mid-century design classics. A lot of screen time goes to the Emeco Navy chair, a simple and ultradurable aluminum seat first designed in 1944 for use on submarines. Evan Rachel Wood and Jeffrey Wright sit in these chairs in a dark, sterile room underneath the Westworld theme park while they discuss robot consciousness.
Another chair with a starring role in the first season is the Thonet No. 18 café chair, first introduced (IRL) in 1876. In the show, it appears in several flashbacks as the chair a major character is sitting in when he commits suicide by robot.
And when the park’s board members are murdered by robots some 30 years later, they’re sitting in a version of the company’s No. 91 cross-back chairs. (That design has been discontinued, but the company’s still-in-production No. 150 chair is a close replica.)
Across several timelines and layers of flashbacks, this pair of Mission-style Stickley Prairie chairs remain in Jeffrey Wright’s character’s home, shot at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Millard house in Pasadena.
In the third season, fun, zany postmodern chairs start appearing in increasingly dystopian settings. For instance: Caleb (Aaron Paul) sits in psychedelic designer Verner Panton’s squiggly Z-shaped plastic chair while waiting to be interviewed for a job a computer has already decided he won’t get …
… and he hangs out with Ash (Lena Waithe) and takes a job off a futuristic crime Fiverr while sitting in a Bertoia Diamond chair, a design first introduced in 1952.
Charlotte Hale’s office chair in the third season is the Guapa chair by Italian furniture company Midj, which has a similar outline to the Eames Bikini wire side chair.
You can spot a set of of Ikea’s wood-fiber and plastic composite Odger chairs in the season-four premiere around Caleb’s dining-room table, pre-robot-takeover.
The chair appearance that really threw me for a loop was Kartell’s Masters chair, which has a playful silhouette I can imagine seeing in an especially chic day-care center — it shows up in a sinister facility in post-robot-takeover New York.
Blu Dot’s affordable injection-molded plastic chair, which the brand describes as “simple, straightforward, and also timeless,” gets a lot of screen time in the show’s most recent episode — the chair populates a holding facility for hundreds of robot facsimiles that keep trying in vain to escape. But the black version of the chair also appears earlier in the season, around the dining table of Evan Rachel Wood’s generically tasteful apartment.
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