Don Chadwick’s Modular Seating

Chadwick’s modular seating debuted with the furniture manufacturer Herman Miller in 1974. The Center has examples of both the straight module and the 30-degree inside module. The back-to-back orientation of the straight module was Baldwin’s preference, as he often designed spaces with seating in this arrangement. This orientation is particularly successful in a museum setting because it gives the visitor optional perspectives when viewing works of art. The versatile nature of this chair has also facilitated the reconfiguration of gallery layouts and comfortable meetings in the classroom. In 2015, as part of the Center’s building conservation project, the chairs were replaced with new versions after Chadwick updated his design. The new chairs incorporated a higher seat with the ability to hold electrical power. The height of the back remained the same. In the new version, the upholstery is of pure British wool created by the textile producer Kvadrat Maharam in brown (Divina 346) and blue (Divina 181). Originally, the Center had Chadwicks in three colors by Herman Miller in Polynit—navy (3704), sepia (3716), and charcoal (3702)—and sought to approximate those colors with the swatches Herman Miller offered in 2015. Chadwick is also known for innovative office seating, including the Aeron Chair, which he codesigned with Bill Stumpf, and his more recent Spark Series Side Chair for Knoll. 

Chadwick Modular Seating, Herman Miller Inc., copyright 1974 (1280)

Chadwick Modular Seating, Herman Miller Inc., copyright 1974, Institutional Archives, Yale Center for British Art 

Don Chadwick, Modular seating for Herman Miller, 1974, reissued in 2015 (single seat shown here), British Wool, foam, plastic, 28″ H x 27″ W x 30″ D, Yale Center for British Art, photo by Richard Caspole

Don Chadwick, Modular seating for Herman Miller, 1974, reissued in 2015 (single seat shown here), British Wool, foam, plastic, 28″ H x 27″ W x 30″ D, Yale Center for British Art, photo by Richard Caspole

Don Chadwick, Modular seating for Herman Miller, 1974, reissued in 2015 (group shown here) (1282)

Don Chadwick, Modular seating for Herman Miller, 1974, reissued in 2015 (group shown here), British Wool, foam, plastic, Yale Center for British Art, photo by Richard Caspole