Much of what makes Mid-Century Modern furniture so pleasing is the seemingly impossible way the wood is bent. Whether is is a simple modern dining chair or an extremely modern accent chair, many of the same processes are used.
I stumbled across a few very interesting videos of steam bending. This process is used to "mold" wood into the shapes you love so much. The pieces of unbent wood would be placed in a chamber and steamed for about 20 minutes to an hour before they were hand bent or for the bigger pieces, bent using hydraulic machinery.