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Lecture at The Stage: Furniture from the Bauhaus era – a legacy as obligation and chance


The lecture illuminates the pioneering role of the traditional company Thonet in the production of tubular steel designs from Bauhaus teachers such as Marcel Breuer, Mart Stam and Mies van der Rohe. The invention of the cantilever chair, a major accomplishment in the history of design, deserves particular significance. Peter Thonet explains how the company succeeded in industrialising the first experiments and what it entails to keep an extensive archive of classics alive. It is about the balance between continuous product maintenance and the idea of a constant reinterpretation. This is what has been keeping Thonet busy for over 80 years – a legacy as obligation and chance.


Peter Thonet, born in 1947, is co-owner of the Frankenberg-based Thonet GmbH – a familyrun company, established in 1819. After training as a banker, Peter Thonet was apprenticed to a well-known Munich–based furniture dealer before joining Thonet in 1974. He has been marketing and sales director since 1984 and a member of the executive board since 1997. From 2011 to 2013 he has been managing director. Today, Peter Thonet is active in the company as its brand ambassador and performs a wide range of tasks in this position.

The lecture will take place at The Stage, hall 2.2, on Thursday, 16-01-2014, at 1:15 p.m.

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