Star Wars Chair - Fred Baier

Star Wars Chair, Fred Baier, 1978. Image © Nick Moss

Object Details

Date of making
Date of acquisition
Furniture making: woodworking, staining, upholstering, carving
Stained sycamore, horsehair, leather
H750mm x W490mm x D460mm
Collection Number

Maker Details

Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorkshire, England
Place Trained
Royal College of Art, London, MA Furniture Design,1972 -1975; Birmingham College of Art, 1968 -1972
45 High Street, Pewsey, Wiltshire, SN9 5AF, England
Crafts Council Bursary,1990; Crafts Council Setting Up Grant, 1976
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Fred Baier designed the Star Wars Chair as an occasional and/or dining chair for then Crafts Advisory Committee Director Victor Margrie’s office. Since the 70s Baier has used computers, mathematics and theories of proportion in his furniture designs. Early work was influenced by industrial imagery such as hydraulic pistons and bridges, and used brightly coloured stained woods. The Star Wars Chair shows Baier’s influence in redefining the boundaries of furniture making. In his own words, he makes ‘pieces that are intended as pioneering furniture statements rather than products.’

Baier’s work was first shown at the Crafts Council’s 1984 open exhibition. Currently Megatron, 1985, also in the Crafts Council Collection, is on loan to the Crafts Study Centre, Farnham, for the exhibition ‘Fred Baier: The Right Angle’.

Read more about related loans and exhibitions

Aidan Walker

“Fred Baier is a fascinating, unpredictable, contrary and original spirit who enlivens the world of craft, and sees it as his role to shake it up. Is it Design? Is it Art? Is it Craft? Fred would say, ‘Does it matter?’ When I was editing Woodworker magazine in the 80s, we never quite knew what to make of him, with his geometric forms and provocative colour schemes. All we knew was that there is no-one quite like Fred Baier. This holds true today, when his work is arguably more aligned with current sensibilities. This Star Wars chair, with its gold metallic finishes and cybernetic articulation, is mild compared to his experimental pieces. The world – and especially the world of craft – needs people like Fred.”

Aidan Walker

Aidan Walker, Critic, analyst and interpreter of 2 & 3D Design

From the Archive

Fred Baier was one of the makers selected for the Crafts Council's first open exhibition. © Crafts Council

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