We all like short cuts. This is as true for designers and architects as anybody else, which is why they so often rely on iconic products to offer a little visual clue to people, to let them know the place they are in is the right sort of place. Cool. Contemporary. Just like them.
Many of the products they use in this way are 20th Century classics. And often they are chairs. The Barcelona chair. The 3107 chair. The Panton chair. The Eames recliner. Each has not only its own integrity as a design but a widely known iconography upon which designers can draw. An elbow in our ribs, a wink wink, know what I mean? Know what I mean?
These products are also the most copied. The market is flooded with fakes. Even the famous portrait of Christine Keeler that is central to the iconography of the 3107 uses a fake chair.