the double helix

The Double Helix chairs are my small tribute to a brilliant young female scientist.

Rosalind Franklin was the British molecular biologist who was responsible for the x-ray photography that led to our understanding of the structure of DNA; Photo 51.

The double helix.

She made her discoveries at Kings College during the early 1950’s, when it was extremely hard for women to make a career and gain recognition in science.

At the time only men were allowed to use the university dining room and after hours her colleagues went to men-only pubs to discuss their work.

Rosalind and her team were very close to solving the structure of DNA when one of her colleagues, Maurice Wilkins showed Photo 51 to Francis Crick and James Watson who were part of a rival research team.

When they saw the image the puzzle was solved and they immediately published their results.

Crick, Watson and Wilkins went on to receive the Noble Prize for the discovery of DNA in 1962.

Sadly Rosalind died of ovarian cancer in 1958 at the age of 37.

Noble Prizes are not awarded posthumously, which is just as well because the boy’s had no plans to share it.


A pair of re-upholstered second hand chairs. Fabric designed by Lorraine Osborne. Printed on heavy Panama cotton at The Glasgow School of Art.



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