A professional resource for the design curious

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!

Charles Pollock and Bernhardt Design

The CP Lounge is Charles Pollock’s first new product for an American company in 47 years.

Charles Pollock and Bernhardt Design


June 29th, 2012

“It starts as a thought, and then becomes an idea, something I might think about for years. When the time is right, I express it on paper, usually as a simple line in space. Finally it takes shape and becomes a product or sculpture,” recalls Charles Pollock in describing the creative process that has served him well for 7 decades.


This deliberate process of creation produced the iconic Pollock Chair. When it was released by Florence Knoll in 1965, the chair became the most successful office chair in history and a symbol of the modern office.

Bernhardt Design recently introduced the 82 year old Pollock’s first new product for an American company in 47 years. The CP Lounge Collection debuted in New York during the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in May 2012.

“I’ve always been fascinated by Charles Pollock. He created such a significant product, yet very little has ever been published about him. Given our fascination with mid-century American designers, this lack of information seemed remarkable to me,” says Jerry Helling, President of Bernhardt Design.


“When I started my search to find Charles, I simply wanted to meet him and hear his story. I didn’t dream at the time that he would be willing and excited to design a new product after all these years.”

In 1982, the Italian company Castelli introduced another breakthrough Pollock design in Europe. The Penelope Chair was one of the first passively ergonomic chairs produced with simple parts.

20 years before mesh became an indispensable material in furniture, Pollock used it as the key component in the Penelope Chair.

In late 2010, a hand delivered letter of introduction from Helling encouraged Pollock to schedule a meeting.

“After searching for him for such a long time, I was a bit anxious about actually meeting him,” says Helling.

“When I walked into the room, the first words out of his mouth were ’you were supposed to be a fat man in a suit’ and I knew instantly all the effort in finding him was not wasted.”


Surprisingly, their first meeting concluded with a plan to explore several design concepts for a new product.

Pollock and Helling spent the next few months evaluating a number of ideas before selecting the CP Lounge as their first project together.

Bernhardt Design is available in Australia from KE-ZU.


INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers

Indesign Our Partners

Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!

Related Stories

While you were sleeping

The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed