Dactylo chair, 1944
The two swivel office chairs—or “swivel stools”—designed in 1944 are variants of movable seats set on a tube mounted on a crosswise wood or metal base. The version with backrest and solid spindle-molded seat was abandoned in favor of one with a more slender base and a molded plywood seat. The backrest was attached with flat metal supports running on under the seat. This model went on the market in 1947 under the title CD 11. In 1949–1950 a number of modifications were made to increase the level of comfort, notably with the introduction of two possible heights. The backrest mounted on a single tube was made adjustable and could turn in all directions. Very few examples of this model seem to have been made. Late in 1950, a new swivel base of bent steel and tubing was designed for the Société Générale bank in Douai and used for an office chair and an ergonomic, height-adjustable Dactylo chair. As the replacement for the old CD 11 chair, this more comfortable new model was shown at the Milan Triennial in May 1951, and produced in small quantities: the thirty made that year may represent the order for the Société Générale.1 Steph Simon’s suggestion for totally redesigning the base in bent steel and replacing the wooden seat with a “stamped shape like the seat of a plow, but covered with leatherette” along the lines of the lecture theater model then under study for the University of Aix-Marseille, seems not to have been taken up. After Jean Prouvé left Maxéville, other swivel seats designed at the Ateliers were more like workshop stools (with or without backrests and footrests) than office furniture.
1. This model appeared in an advertising photo for the Ateliers Jean Prouvé in L’Architecture d’aujourd’hui (December 1951), showing the furnishing of the Société Générale bank in Douai.