‘Plastic Baroque Chair’ by James Shaw

By Shaw, James (English, active 21st century)


Combining new technologies with traditional furniture iconography, Shaw transforms unwanted materials into desirable home décor adding a playful touch to a space.


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This eye-catching and attention-grabbing seating was created by James Shaw, who is a famous contemporary designer and maker. The chair comes from the ‘Plastic Baroque’ series in which Shaw creates playful pieces, with designs taking inspiration from traditional characteristics of the 17th and 18th centuries Baroque period.

Recycled plastic is at the forefront of the innovation process of this furniture piece. Used plastic, one which would otherwise be discarded is re-shaped using a ‘plastic extruding gun’ invented by Shaw. The machine is filled with small plastic pieces as well as a dye, combining within the gun. The final material is a soft, string-shaped polychrome plastic, its colour dictated by how much dye was put or left in the extruding gun. The hot plastic is easily mouldable, the designer cutting it into desirable lengths with scissors. During the cooling process, the individual strings of plastic stick together forming the final, desired results.

Shaw’s piece is full of contrasts and intrigue. For example, one armrest is of a round form whereas the other is positioned in a 90-degree angle shape, creating a comparison between the two forms. The chair seat and back are crafted from long horizontal pieces of plastic held together by multiple shorter strips, creating the illusion of a lace-like pattern. The hard plastic as well as the lace-like design ensure this is a very durable furniture piece.

James Shaw graduated from the Royal College of Art, the world’s number one art and design university. The ‘plastic extruded gun’, a key element of his ‘Plastic Baroque’ series, was first initiated during his studies at the RCA. His inventive and thought-provoking pieces are in permanent collections of some of the world’s most famous museums such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London or MoMA in New York.

Playful and reminiscent of childlike imagery, Shaw’s chair is both a functional piece as well as a work of art. It demonstrates how materials once regarded as unwanted can be transformed into desirable and collectable home décor pieces, ones which would add a touch of excitement to any interior space.


Artist / Maker
By Shaw, James (English, active 21st century)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
21st Century
20th and 21st Century Design, Contemporary
Blue, Cream, White


78 cm / 30.7 inches
58 cm / 22.8 inches
49 cm / 19.3 inches


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