In 1938 Walt Disney started construction on his new animation studios in Burbank California. As construction progressed Disney was thinking about the interior spaces and furniture that would be used throughout the facility. One of the pieces he turned to was the chair he had commissioned in 1934, the Airline Chair. An iconic design bridging the space between art deco and what would become mid-century modern. Produced in limited quantities for Disney, this chair was used throughout the Disney studios, in areas ranging from meeting rooms, to screening rooms to lounges.
In 2009 Disney collaborated with Los Angeles designer Cory Grosser (Grosser teaches multi-disciplinary design at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.) to update the original 1934 Airline chair. Grosser drawing inspiration from the past, while looking to the possibilities of current materials, and fabrication techniques created a stylish update to a classic icon. The Airline_009 is constructed from solid cdc milled walnut which helps create a more refined visual line to the frame of the chair. Another added benefit is lightness. The milling process maintains strength while allowing for a light thinner frame to be built. Unlike the original, the cushions on the new chair are injected polyurethane foam covered in Napa leather.
The new chair has a nice contemporary look to it without discarding the heritage from which it grew. I’m sure Walt Disney would be happy with this.