Sit Down And Be Heard: Vote For Your Favorite Chair Design

January 18, 2012
Ralph Rapson

Ralph Rapson, 1914-2008

Ralph Rapson was an architect, artist and teacher who left a huge legacy in Minnesota and beyond.

Rapson, who died in 2008, designed the original Guthrie Theater, the Riverside Plaza residential complex, a series of modernist homes and a number of iconic pieces of furniture. As head of the University of Minnesota’s architecture school for 30 years, he influenced an untold number of architects and designers.

Rapson loved to sketch. Some of the chairs he drew in the 1940s and 1950s never went into production. Now, a furniture company created by Rapson’s son, Toby Rapson, is planning to build some of those unrealized designs for the first time.

And here’s something fun: Rapson-Inc. is letting modern design aficionados decide which Rapson chair gets put into production first. Letting customers (and potential customers) vote on the product lineup is a great way to get them involved and invested in the outcome.

The voting coincides with an exhibit of Rapson drawings and furniture at Danish Teak Classics in Minneapolis. Fast Horse is helping Rapson-Inc. promote the exhibit and the voting.

The exhibit runs through Feb. 5. So take a look at the chair designs below and cast your vote by Jan. 31. The winning design, to be sold exclusively through Rapson-Inc. and DTC | X, will be announced during a reception Feb. 2. (Details here.)


Option No. 1

Rapson designed this lounge in 1951. The design features a steel and wood frame with an upholstered seat and back.
Ralph Rapson chair design


Option No. 2

Rapson designed this side chair in 1949. The design features bentwood construction.
Ralph Rapson chair design


Option No. 3

Rapson designed this lounge chair and rocker in 1943. The design features a plywood frame with an upholstered seat and back.
Ralph Rapson chair design


A video highlighting the vote and an opening reception of the Rapson exhibit: