366 Armchair by Joseph Chierowski: the Story Behind the Polish Design Icon
Our name comes from our flagship product – the 366 Armchair. It was the most popular piece of Polish mid-century furniture. This was partly a matter of luck: in the early 1960s, one of the biggest furniture factories in Poland was destroyed by fire, creating a sudden need for simple furniture that could be assembled quickly.
Young interior and piano (!) designer, lecturer at University of Art in Wrocław, Józef Chierowski jumped at the opportunity. That was when the chair’s potential first manifested itself. Thanks to its minimalist design and lightweight wooden construction, it was an instant success, soon to be found in almost every office, café and restaurant in Poland.
The 366 Armchair was manufactured for over 20 years, with more than 500,000 copies sold throughout the Eastern Bloc. Despite such success, this masterpiece never had the chance to be noticed outside of the Soviet sphere of influence.
Czesława Chierowska, designer's wife
First manufactured 366 Armchair
For years, Józef Chierowski divided his time between working as a designer for the Lower Silesian Furniture Manufacturing in Świebodzice and chairing the Department of Industrial Design at the National Academy of Arts in Wrocław, Poland. He worked on multiple popular products, including the VAR chair, yet his most significant accomplishment was the design for the 366 Armchair, which became a true icon of Polish mid-century design, as well as one of the most beloved furniture pieces of the 1950s and 60s.
366 Armchair, Reedition 2015