40/4. A moving legacy

Most people see the 40/4 as a pioneering design that has stood the test of time. We like to think of it as a legacy that continues to move you in new ways.

Simple, stackable, remarkable. David Rowland’s 40/4 stackable chair is one of the most important designs of the 20th century. Its elegant lines, excellent ergonomics, and unsurpassed ability to create space (without taking up too much of it) continue to attract architects and designers.

A detailed image of the back of an upholstered 40/4 chair
Play Movie

Designed by David Rowland

Designer David Rowland studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, the school that helped train Charles and Ray Eames, Florence Knoll, Harry Bertoia, and Eero Saarinen. Early in his career, Rowland worked under Lazlo Moholy-Nagy as well as Norman Bel Geddes.


In the process of taking the 40/4 beyond the prototype stage, the road was paved with all sorts of stumbling blocks. Due to his passion and relentless determination, Rowland made his vision a reality in 1964 with its initial launch — and the 40/4 has remained in production ever since. Over eight million 40/4 chairs have been sold to date; proof that you need a brilliant idea to create a timeless design. But you also need to believe in it to produce it.

How to recognize an original?

The 40/4 chair by David Rowland is acclaimed as the first truly stackable chair. Its name is an expression of this: 40 chairs can be stacked within 4 feet.


The chair was introduced in 1964 after almost a decade of development. It was an instant success, and since then, over 8 million chairs have been produced and sold.


To recognize an original 40/4 chair, just look for David Rowland's signature under the seat.


"After the 40/4 was introduced, a number of companies and designers attempted to create an equally successful counterpoint, indeed, every year brings its crop of minimalist stacking chairs. [...] The copies as well as other more independent developments are indications of the fact that David Rowland created a whole new type of furniture, which is profoundly expressive of contemporary life."


By Merete Ahnfeldt-Mollerup, Architect, Phd and Associate Professor



Get in touch