"How High the Moon" Armchair

Designed by Shiro Kuramata, Japanese, 1934 - 1991. Made by Vitra GmbH, Basel, Switzerland, 1934 - present.

Made in Basel, Switzerland, Europe

Designed 1986

Nickel-plated steel

28 1/4 x 37 3/8 x 32 inches (71.8 x 94.9 x 81.3 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Collab: The Group for Modern and Contemporary Design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in honor of Gerard J. Jarosinski, Jr., 1993

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Additional information:
  • PublicationJapanese Design: A Survey Since 1950

    Shiro Kuramata used common industrial materials in his furniture and interior designs, in the process transforming them into rich and noble components. His How High the Moon armchair is made of expanded steel mesh, a structural material that Kuramata plated with nickel as here (or with copper) to make it sparkle and which he joined in welded seams of such precision that the airy mesh is reduced to a series of crossing points, an apparently weightless, boundless volume. Dematerialization and the ironies of function were constant themes for Kuramata, and frequently he used steel mesh to pursue them, both in furniture and in his designs of interiors. Kathyrn B. Hiesinger and Felice Fischer, Japanese Design: A Survey since 1950. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1994, cat. 186, pp. 162-163.