Le Corbusier used Thonet chairs in several interiors, including the No. 9 chair (image 10) in his Pavillon de l'Esprit Nouveau at the Paris Exhibition of 1925. Of the No. 9 chair, Le Corbusier said, "Never was there an object as elegant, as well conceived, as precise in its execution, and practical in its usage." Adolf Loos, the Viennese architect who famously equated ornament with crime and degeneracy, designed his own bentwood chair that Gebrüder Thonet produced, gently tweaking the classic No. 14 design for use in his Viennese Café Museum of 1899 (images 11 & 12). For Loos, Le Corbusier, and other Modernists, these simple Thonet chairs represented a masterly fusion of form and function, and economy of materials. The chair's curves are simply a function of using as few pieces of wood as possible. The principles of economy of materials, form following function, and the physical and aesthetic lightness of the objects were inspirational for designers in other materials, as well. The tubular steel furniture by Charlotte Perriand (image 13), Marcel Breuer and Mies van der Rohe also owes a debt to Thonet's design innovations, despite their more industrial appearances. Of course, Thonet's furniture was not always so simple. His Rocking Chair No. 1 from 1860 (image 14) is an example of his more elaborate scrollwork (although this, too, is to some extent crucial to the rocking function). In fact, the curvilinear lines of the firm's designs helped maintain their popularity through the Art Nouveau era, and helped make them appealing to a variety of tastes. His designs continue to walk the line today (images 2 & 3), both antique and practical, simple and yet somehow redolent of a Viennese café, circa 1900. Images: 1 Sandor Galimberti, Interior with Thonet Chair (ca. 1908), Wikimedia Commons; 2 Red painted Thonet No. 14 chairs from a recent ATNY post; 3 Thonet No. 9 chairs in a Domino shoot, via Apartment Therapy; 4 Thonet's No. 14 (now known as 214), first produced in 1859. Via Dexigner; 5 A progression of Thonet bentwood chairs, including a chair (1836-40), the armchair shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851, and a classic coffeehouse chair, which you can see in Volkel's café scene. Wikimedia Commons; 6 No. 14 chairs in a shipping crate, via Trífora; 7 Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, At the Moulin Rouge (1892/5), Wikimedia Commons; 8 Café Scene (1882-85) by Fernand Harvey Lungren, an American artist. Via Caferepublica; 9 Café Griensteidl, Vienna (1896), by R. Völkel. Via Caferepublica; 10 Thonet No. 9 chair, a favorite of Le Corbusier, via icollector; 11 Adolf Loos' Café Museum (1899), Vienna. Loos was a radial architect who was ideologically opposed to decorative ornament on the grounds that it was degenerate and primitive. Thonet produced his designs for bentwood chairs for the café interior. Image via leclairdelune; 12 Loos' Thonet chair (1899), via Architonic; 13 B302 Swivel Chair by Charlotte Perriand, Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret (1928), photo by Anna Hoffman; 14 Thonet Rocking Chair No. 1 (1860). Via Dexigner.