He worked for architect Victor Gruen, and in 1964 founded his own practice. As a young designer Chadwick gained recognition for his entries in the Pasadena Art Museum's California Design exhibitions. His 1968 prototype for cardboard furniture predates the easy edges cardboard furniture by Frank Gehry. He has designed the Chadwick modular seating system (1974) and, in cooperation with Bill Stumpf, the Equa 1 (1984) and the Aeron chair (1994), all for Herman Miller. Among his recent designs is the Chadwick chair and Spark chair for Knoll, and Ballo for Human Scale.
- Friedman, Mildred, Ed. A Serious Chair — Design Quarterly 126. Minneapolis and Cambridge: The Walker Art Center and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1984. ISBN 0011-9415
- Olivares, Jonathan, Ed. Don Chadwick Photography 1961-2005. Barcelona: Apartamento Publishing S.L., 2019 ISBN 978-84-09-11610-2
- Amy Auscherman, Sam Gawe, Leon Ransmeier, Eds. "Ergon Chairs 1976" in Herman Miller A Way of Living. London: Phaidon Press, 2019. 460-481 ISBN 9780714875217
- ID magazine Award for Design Excellence, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974
- ASID Award for Ergon seating, 1976
- The Governor's Award, Design Michigan Exhibition, 1977
- ID magazine "Designer of the 70s," 1979
- IBD and IDSA awards for casegoods, 1980
- IBD Gold Award for Equa chair, 1984
- IBD Gold Award for Ethospace interiors, 1985
- Time magazine, Design: Best of the Decade for Equa chair, 1990
- Business Week Magazine and Industrial Designers Society of America awarded Design of the Decade to the Aeron chair, 2000
- National Design Awards, Product Design winner, 2006
- "The Collection | Donald T. Chadwick, William Stumpf. Aeron Office Chair. 1992". MoMA. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
- "Don Chadwick". Knoll. Retrieved 2009-07-07.
- Auscherman, Amy (2019). Herman Miller A Way of Living. London: Phaidon. p. 461. ISBN 9780714875217.
- Industrial Designers Society of America. "Ergon Chair (1976)". Archived from the original on 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2011-09-26.