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Object Timeline

2012

  • Work on this object began.

2013

  • We acquired this object.

2014

2015

2019

  • You found it!

Textile, Pinstripe, 2012

This is a Textile. It was designed by Elizabeth Whelan and made for Humanscale. It is dated 2012 and we acquired it in 2013. Its medium is 82% polyester, 18% nylon and its technique is plain weave with warp floats. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Textile designer Elizabeth Whelan has played a critical role in the development of ergonomic task chair design. Her sleekly beautiful mesh fabrics for Humanscale are integral to the structure and function of the chairs for which they were designed.
After their successful collaboration on Humanscale’s Liberty Chair, in 2009, Diffrient and Whelan began work on a new, lighter-weight task chair, with both a mesh back and seat. The advanced demands of this chair required a new mesh, one which was lighter in weight, more transparent, and yet provided primary support a 300 pound person, in keeping with the goals of the chair. To make the seat comfortable while it provided support, Whelan tested different types of elasticity in the monofilament stretch yarns. The final product uses yarns that have two different elastomer levels, one to provide support and the other recovery. The fabric conforms to the curves of the chair back, providing lumbar support, and the appropriate level of give in the seat relieves contact stress behind the knees.
Humanscale wanted a simple floating line of color, and Whelan found inspiration in the cables of the Brooklyn Bridge. The thicker, colored yarns mimic the role of the vertical ‘suspenders’ that hang down from the suspension cables. This sparing use of intense color in a transparent field uses 50% less dye than her earlier Monofilament Stripe mesh.
The World Chair, which wouldn’t function ergonomically without Whelan’s fabrics, has won numerous awards including the Best of the Best in the Red Dot Competition 2010, and Best GIO Design Award, 2012.

This object was donated by Elizabeth Whelan. It is credited Gift of Elizabeth Whelan.

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Its dimensions are

H x W: 304.8 x 124.8 cm (10 ft. x 49 1/8 in.) Repeat H: 0.6 cm (1/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Pinstripe, 2012; Designed by Elizabeth Whelan (American, b. 1961); USA; 82% polyester, 18% nylon; H x W: 304.8 x 124.8 cm (10 ft. x 49 1/8 in.) Repeat H: 0.6 cm (1/4 in.); Gift of Elizabeth Whelan; 2013-45-2

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making Design: Recent Acquisitions.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/52027837/ |title=Textile, Pinstripe, 2012 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=15 January 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>