David Lincoln Rowland was an American industrial designer who is best known for the 40/4 chair he created in the late 1950s, a stacking chair so named because 40 chairs can be stored in a stack 4 feet high.
David Rowland (1924 – 2010) began his studies under Moholy-Nagy in 1940 after the German Bauhaus teacher went to the United States to found the Institute of Design in Chicago. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Principia College in Illinois and a Master of Fine Arts in Industrial Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan.
During the Second World War, Rowland was a pilot in the United States Air Force and endured the 'beastly uncomfortable seats' in the cockpits of the planes he flew. It was during this experience that Rowland made a promise to himself to dedicate his life to the creation of comfortable and ergonomically correct seating.
Once the war was over, he started his own peaceful mission. And after years of research, sketches and prototypes, finally had the light, strong and super-ergonomic chair, which is now known around the world as the stacking chair 40/4. The new chair was received warmly by the design community world-wide and is one of the highest-selling chairs in history.