University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf
Photos: Constantin Meyer
Chair S 43 and seminar table
With over 40 study courses in seven departments, the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf offers a comprehensive and application-oriented study program for around 10,000 students. As a tribute to industrial designer, Peter Behrens, whose Werkkunstschule merged with the university
in the 1970s, the design and architecture departments are today combined under the umbrella brand Peter Behrens School of Arts.
The seminar rooms of the two departments are furnished with 1,000 Thonet cantilever chairs S 43 by designer and architect Mart Stam. The tubular steel classic, based on a design from 1931, inspires students with its clear and simple construction: a strictly cubic chair without back legs, which combines a tubular steel frame with a moulded plywood seat and backrest. Along with the aesthetic qualities, the S 43 impresses with its high degree of functionality: stackable and available in Thonet’s portfolio either with or without armrests, it optimally fits in with the constantly changing environments.
With the S 43 serving as a model, the design and architecture students started developing a seminar table for a new university building starting in 2016. The profile of the requirements, in addition to functional qualities for a highly flexible day-to-day university life, also stipulated a direct relationship with the S 43. In design seminars and a competition, the jury, consisting of professors of both departments and representatives of Thonet, selected the winning design, which has exclusively become part of the furnishings of the University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf since 2017 – entirely following the tradition of universities of design and architecture.