Furniture designer Charles Pollock – ‘the anti Phillipe Starck’ – dies aged 83

Furniture designer Charles Pollock, who designed the Pollock Executive Chair for Knoll in the 1960s, has died at the age of 83.

Pollock is reported to have died following a fire at his home in New York.

Pollock is most famous for his 1250 executive chair collection, which went into production with Knoll in 1965.

The chair uses an aluminium ‘rim’, which outlines the chair and acts as the main structural element. Slots in the aluminium hold the back shell and upholstery in place, and the plastic back becomes rigid only after being fitted into the frame.

Knoll says the chair design is one of its ‘classics’ and still sells to this day.

Pollock grew up in Detroit and studied at New York’s Pratt Institute. As well as working for Knoll, he also worked on the design of the Swag Leg Armchair for Herman Miller and the Penelope chair for 1982.

He was known for his low profile, and reportedly abandoned the design world in the 1980s after a chair he designed for Olivetti never saw the light of day.

Pollock focused on paintings and sculptures, but did create one further design, the CP collection for Bernhardt, which was released last year.

Design Museum director Dejan Sudjic described Pollock to the BBC as ‘the opposite of the celebrity designers of the 1980s – a kind of anti-Phillipe Starck.

‘He was a man who shunned publicity and attention and produced just a few designs for chairs.’

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