We'd already fallen for the simplicity of the frame (not to mention the many colors it comes in, from Rose to Forest Green, as pictured here). But the realization that it neatly stacked sold us. The curved back is a technique of steam-bending wood into curves, without the warping, which Florence-born designer Lucian Randolph Ercolani innovated. Its a method that appears throughout the L. Ercolani collection, part of the modernist mission of the British furniture factory he founded after he relocated to Britain in 1920. The Stacking Chair appeared in 1957 and became an immediate standard in meeting rooms and schools before. Today, this beech or elm chair remains a striking alternative to plastic—and makes for a dramatic display that stacks up.