Design Inspiration : The Blow Chair

Jul 1, 2011 | Blog, Team kensa

Digital disruption

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Scott Clarke

Written by

Scott Clarke  

Founding father of Kensa and all round design obsessive, Scott has an opinion on pretty much everything.

Designed in 1967, the ‘Blow’ chair was the first example of mass produced inflatable furniture. While it’s not likely to win any beauty competitions the chair was undeniably a technical achievement – inspired by the space race, it combined transparent PVC plastic with manufacturing techniques previously unheard of in furniture design.

Being an inflatable product meant that a puncture was inevitable at some point and this is at what is truly special about the Blow chair; they embraced this and it was released as a relatively cheap, disposable item which was intended to be fun and ran completely contrary to the traditional view of furniture. This attitude shift, combined with the ability to use it outdoors, led to it being enthusiastically adopted by the youth of the time and cemented its place as an iconic piece of 60’s design.

The blow chair itself may have ultimately been little more than a novelty but the concept behind it’s construction inspired others to create a wide range of inflatable products which have transformed the landscape of beaches and pools worldwide.

If that’s not a convincing enough case for why the blow chair is important then ask yourself this: would you rather be on a luxurious leather sofa indoors or on a cheap inflatable chair on the beach in the glorious sunshine? That’s what I thought!

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