Design That Dared: 8 Pieces That Changed Furniture Forever

A look back at a century’s worth of essential—and sometimes forgotten—items that challenged the status quo of interior design.

B&B Italia
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“Innovation” has become something of a redundant term in the design industry. With so many new launches, biennials, and design weeks, it’s hard—and unnecessary—to reinvent the wheel each time, despite the fact that many brands promise to do exactly that with every new collection. But thinking back over the last 100 years of design throws up the true pioneers: Those who produced furniture that looked different, was manufactured uniquely, or simply rewrote the rules of what “design” really is, including, importantly, who can make it. These eight examples were all boundary-pushing creative successes, and some—perhaps in spite of their more radical nature at the time—even became commercial hits, too. Style supposedly never goes out of fashion: Neither, as these avant-garde pieces suggest, does having a bit of chutzpah.