Key Stages 3-5 Free Activity

Lesson Plan: Design your own chair

There are more chairs in the world than people, and still designers want to design more and newer chairs. For designers chairs can be the ultimate challenge; a chair has to be desirable. It has to look good whilst someone is sat in it and also when no one sits in it. It has to compliment the room that it’s in, drawing your attention to it but not standing out too much. It has to be comfortable and also serve a purpose; is it for work, relaxing, or maybe a particular task?

In 1925 Marcel Breuer set out to make a chair that would look so modern that the user appeared to be sitting on air.

Watch Rolf Fehlbaum, son of furniture company Vitra, talk about the Marcel Breuer’s Wassily chair in the Design Museum film.

Things to do

How many chairs do you have around your home? What types of chair are they and what do you use them for?

What sort things would someone need during their day? What would the chair need to provide throughout the day? Would it need to make sure that the user took breaks or had snacks easily to hand? Would the chair need to be cheerful to lift people’s spirits during lockdown?

Draw your design on a piece of paper, label your drawing with annotations to show what materials you’ve made it out of and show any moving parts etc. Add some colour to your design and give it name.

Share your illustration with the Design Museum on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #DesignFromHome.

To read

Transat Chair

Read about Eileen Gray’s transit chair and find out about another forward thinking design from the 1920s.

Young Design Museum

Young Design Museum

See what other activities are available for young people as part of the museum's Digital Design Calendar.