by Heather Vaughan
I have a long standing love affair with Lucite, from vintage to new. Lucite is a chameleon material; it can be the epitome of clean and contemporary, or add lightness and luxe to traditional spaces.
Developed in the 1930’s, acrylic plastic was used during World War II for aircraft windshields, submarine periscopes and the like. Shortly after the war, DuPont licensed its clear acrylic plastic, branded as Lucite, to multiple jewelry manufacturers. From that, the midcentury modern interior designers and architects latched on to it as the material is hard, strong, lightweight, water resistant, can be carved, polished and dyed in wide range of colors. A material that offers such a wide range of custom capabilities is every designer’s dream! By the 1960’s, Midcentury Modern design icons Carl Springer, Vladimir Kagan, and Gaetano Sciolari embraced the use of Lucite. They found the material flexible, durable and chic, using it in many of their lighting and furniture designs. In 2002, Lucite experienced a renaissance with the introduction of the “Louis Ghost” chair by Philippe Stark. This chair has been so popular it has become a modern day classic, introducing Lucite to a generation of Baby Boomers.
For the purist, vintage Lucite pieces can be easily found on First Dibs at a wide range of price points, from affordable to collector’s level. Today, many custom furniture manufacturers such as Century Furniture offer a Lucite leg option on many of their upholstered pieces. Perhaps some of these newly created Lucite gems will become the classics of tomorrow.CREDITS: Heather Vaughan Design , Greg Premru Photography • POSTED IN: Product Showcase , Things We Love
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