Garnet Campbell (Garth) Chester is a Kiwi legend. His unique, early modernist designs have become highly coveted New Zealand icons.
Garth Chester (1916-1968) is one of New Zealand's most important furniture designers. He found success with pioneering designs using bent plywood.
Douglas Lloyd-Jenkins recounts that the Curvesse Chair, designed in 1944, was "the first cantilevered plywood chair to appear anywhere in the world ...a progressive high point in local design" (At Home - A Century of New Zealand Design).
During the early days, manufacturing technology was a barrier to smooth construction for many of Chester's designs. Chester reportedly threw away 17 out of every 20 Curvess made.
After a mysterious fire burnt down his workshop Chester went on to design steel-framed furniture. In the 1950s he created another iconic design - the Bikini chair. It was a three legged chair with a Bikini style backrest and was bound to have caused a stir with the ever conservative New Zealand public.