In 2009, with the retirements of Peter Koenig and Tock Ohazama, the department began a tradition of purchasing an iconic chair (in the case of Ohazama, the purchase was a coffee table) to honor each retiring faculty member. If you visit the main department office today, you will have the opportunity to touch, to study, and to experience the feel, scale, and craftsmanship of some of the most significant chair designs in history. Following Ohazama and Koenig’s retirements in 2009, Peter Munton and Eric Wiedegreen were both honored with a chair in 2012 and David Butler in 2013. As the department’s historian, Karen Myers was particularly suited for this tradition as the department honored her retirement this past spring.
Through the generous donations of alumni and friends, the department was able to celebrate Karen Myers’ legacy, through the purchase of the Hill House Chair by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The Hill House Chair is one of the most iconic pieces of furniture made at the turn of the 20th Century and any alumni will remember Karen’s fondness for Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The chair will be the newest addition to the department’s Library of Iconic Chairs, which serves to honor longtime faculty and provide students with an important learning resource. Each faculty member receives the Vitra miniature of their chair as a personal commemoration of their contribution to the department. Below is a gallery of the department’s current iconic chairs and the faculty members in which they honor.