With all the reality shows and documentaries about ghosts and ghost hunters floating around on various networks these days, one might get the quick impression that a “ghost chair” might somehow fall into that suspect group. Â However, a ghost chair is anything but supernatural — even though it isn’t natural at all. Â The ghost chair is plastic, and it is actually quite practical. Â In fact, it is a piece of clear polycarbonate-constructed furniture.
The ghost chair was designed by Philippe Starck in 2002 when he attempted to reinvent the King Louis XV armchair with a modern twist. Â Philippe Starck took the classic lines of the original and designed a single molded piece of furniture that was incredibly durable, practical, and scratch-resistant. Â The chair was made available by furniture manufacturer Kartell in various opaque colors and in a see-through (hence, “ghost”) plastic as well.
According to an article by Y. M. Ousley at Signature 9, a book by Charlotte and Peter Fiell, Plastic Dreams, credits Philippe Starck with changing the way people look at plastic. Â The book, which looks at plastic design innovation, believes that the popularity of Starck’s design, from his Queen Victoria design to his King Louis “ghost chairs,” has altered the common conception of things made of plastic as cheap and disposable.
Because cheap it is not. Â The ghost chair retails for around $340 (Queen Victoria) and $420 (King Louis). Â For children, a smaller ghost chair model, the Lou Lou Ghost Chair, is available for $133.
About that “quite practical” comment in the first paragraph… Â That was a nod to the ghost chair’s functionality. Â Not its price.