Furniture and Political Power
Furniture and Political Power

Furniture and Political Power


The Politics of Furniture shows that furniture can play a role in political terms as well as being functional and aesthetic. Post-war interior identity, diplomacy, and Persuasion. A collection of essays on the symbolic meaning of post-war modern furniture

Although most postwar contemporary furniture was meant to communicate a “international and in certain respects apolitical modern language,”.  It proved perfectly suited to transmit a particular ideological message. From the start of the Cold War to the second oil crisis in 1979, the political eloquence of postwar furniture design is fundamental to The Politics of Furniture.

Furniture, just like people, is an important actor in political power processes. Furniture pieces are material expressions of power; design – including furniture – is political. Recent literature on architecture and design during the Cold War has shown that specific buildings and design. Products were specially developed to communicate certain political messages.

In order to decipher the political meanings of post-war furniture design. It is important to visualize the systems and mechanisms of production, distribution, promotion and consumption. Research into the object alone is not enough, an object only acquires meaning within its context. By emphasizing the historical, economic and political context it gives way to understanding the politics of furniture design.

How Does 19th Century Politics Impact Furniture Design



The Relationship between architecture and national identity has been investigated more often in the past. It is a recurring theme, especially when studying diplomatic buildings. Embassy buildings are the physical representation of a nation in another country. This represent function that makes embassy buildings extremely symbolic office buildings. For example, in Saarinen’s London embassy design, interior and exterior went hand in hand to create a positive image of the Americans among the British. Goad, on the other hand, shows that the Australians in Washington DC consciously opted for a neutral, diplomatic design, based on the example of the American. ‘Good Neighbor Policy‘, while the interior was rather a showroom of national was proud. The few studies of embassy architecture mainly focus on the architectural design and materialization of the exterior. It shows that furniture also plays an important role in the representation of the country abroad.

A number of interiors were discussed in the books were carefully staged ‘settings’ designed by architects, interior designers and furniture manufacturers. In response to specific political visions, wishes and needs of clients. In many cases these interiors are no longer present or have been changed in such a way that the original meaning is no longer clear. A building has been completed or users are making changes to the interior. By replacing, removing or adding objects, the interior is provided with new meanings and stories. According to Floré and McAtee, the original stories of which the furniture was once a part form of content. This applies to both architecture and design (including furniture), The Politics of Furniture no longer under discussion. If we want to keep furniture from being “meaningless vintage items,” as Floré and McAtee correctly described it.