Nick Dryden was literally the very first person we met when we moved to Nashville. He was instrumental in helping us secure the gas station as the home of imogene + willie, and furthermore, helped us realize our vision by offering his architecture firm‘s services pro-bono in order for us to get the building renovated. He understands and encourages urban revitalization like no other. His vision is clear and clean and simple, as is his design. So it was no shock to us when we asked Nick to do a Roundup – that he would choose to curate just one “thing,” chairs.
Albiet the most simple, to Matt and me, Nick Dryden is just simply the best man.
This is a collection of chairs that have influenced my work in different ways throughout my life as an architect. The chair represents an article of ordinary use and, at times, the emblem of authority.
1. Jean Prouvé Cité Lounge Chair – circa 1930. Prouvé is one of my biggest influences in his use of steel and wood, beholding an earnest industrial aesthetic.
2. Michael Thone Bentwood chair – 1859. A timeless classic that has stood the test of time. A defining moment for bentwood construction. 150+ years old and still strong.
3. Marc Newson Wooden Chair – 1992. A fluid application of bent wood that blurs the line between sculpture and furniture.
4. Charles Eames LCW – 1948. What can I say here? Eames is the king of mid century modernism… Forever relevant. This one sits at the imogene + willie gas station.
5. Dryden | Pontes Burger-Up Stools – 2009. Designed and fabricated in my shop for a favorite local neighborhood burger joint in Nashville.
6. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chair – 1928. German architect defined modernism with this sexy beast.
7. Donald Judd Chair – 1991. Judd used simple, often repeated forms to explore space and the use of minimalist space. Judd’s specific objects define the place Marfa, Texas as we know it today.
8. Legend has it that Wilton Dinges, who founded Emeco in 1944, actually tossed a 1006 Navy Chair out the window of a six-story building. The result? A few minor scratches. A classic forever. My studio is stacked with these ubiquitous beauties.
9. Frank Ghery Wiggle Chair – 1972. Frank Gehry experimented with common found materials such as corrugated furniture early in his defining career.
10. Eames Lounge – 1956. While my mother and father were dating, my mother gave this chair to my father shortly after it was introduced in 1958 (he was in architecture school from 1955-1960). I grew up with this chair. It played a big part in my love for furniture. My parents surprised me and my wife Lina with it as a wedding gift in 2009, fifty years later. It’s been worn down to its beautiful threads.
11. Russell Woodard Sculptura Chair – 1954. A delicate and transparent tangle of welded wire and sensual form.
Photo of Nick by Ben Watts for GQ Magazine.