The Ghost Chair : Scary good design : What's in a Name Wednesday

Hello again and welcome to

Welcome to What’s in a Name Wednesday!

Where we take a look at some of the best known names in Design and inspect what makes them stand the test of time.

« I like to open the doors of the human brain » - Philippe Starck

Monday we talked about stripping down our interior design and our selves; learning how to be more authentic and transparent. For this week's What's in a Name Wednesday we are examining a chair that is the perfect example for transparency and, consequently, also the perfect follow up to the Halloween and Day of the Dead holidays we have all just enjoyed. I am talking about the Philippe Stark Ghost Chair. Think you haven't seen this baby floating around? You'd be wrong. Even though the Ghost Chair is molded completely from clear, injected polycarbonate, you have no doubt seen its sleek Louis XVI style shape haunting your daily life.

Louis ghost chair

Designed in 2002, Stark's masterpiece seems like a simple, clear, plastic armchair to the untrained eye. But the beauty of the design runs so much deeper. Stark himself is fascinating. His website describes his unflinching and untiring "devotion to a positive reduction, his love of ideas, his desire to defend the intelligence of usefulness." The ghost chair embodies all of these. 

Get this, the basic design of the chair is actually 175 years old. It was inspired by the traditional Louis XVI armchair (think 1830-1850) which is why it is sometimes called the Louis Ghost Chair. Leave it to a master like Stark to reinterpret a stuffy French fauteuil into a modern marvel. (A fauteuil is the historic style of armchair in French design; pronounced Foe-Toy and pictured below.)

louis xvi fauteuil "Subversive, ethical, ecological, political, fun: this is how I see my duty as a creator." Philippe Stark

A few more awesome facts about the 'killer' Ghost Chair:

-It is made of injected polycarbonate that uses a single mold. This means that the entire body of he chair is one piece which makes it much more sturdy, not to mention much more . It also means that it does well outdoors because there are no joints for water to get into (expansion in joints of other furniture during freezing can cause cracking.)

-The Ghost chair is stackable and can be stacked up to 6 high. This means easy storage on top of the fact that it is super lightweight and easy to move around.

-The originally designed chair was made in only the transparent "crystal clear" color. Making it easy to include in rooms that don't need more visual clutter. The chair is now available from the original manufacturer Kartell in 8 colors including opaque black and white and is also available in an armless version referred to as the Victoria Ghost Chair. These two have now inspired other variations as well including barstools and a small ottoman/stool given the witty name of the Ghost Buster.

-I know the 'plastic' label can be concerning off but this plastic piece of art is also 100% recyclable and Kartell has an impeccable reputation for environmentally aware design across the board.

-"Always imitated, never duplicated." It is common for these named, designer chairs to "inspire" knock-off versions. Since it was released 12 short years ago, the actual Ghost chair has sold over 1.5 million frames, the highest amount of any original chair.

-Philippe Starck was the first designer to participate in the TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment & Design

Caroline Stanley calls the craze for this icon 'Ghost Chair lust'. Take a look at a few photos below - I'll leave you two is quite haunting.

Louis+Ghost+Chair (3) Louis+Ghost+Chair (2) Louis+Ghost+Chair (1)

“I don’t work, I dream” -Philipe Stark

I look forward to seeing you next week! If you liked this post, please feel free to share it with others using the links below. If you want to be emailed with new posts feel free to follow my blog on Bloglovin’. You can also sign up in the box below for updates!

All my best to you – create spaces you love so much they actually love you back~