The chair is often considered the iconic piece of furniture that most characterises a designer, which we thought was an interesting aspect of the chair. But what actually is a chair?
That is the question we wanted different Danish designers to answer, so we asked two designer duos and one individual designer to elaborate on the question: What is the idea of a chair? More precisely, we requested them to submit pictures or other visual material behind a chair idea accompanied by the designers’ contemplation behind their chairs.
Designers Hee Welling and Gudmundur Ludvik started their collaboration in 2010 but both have deep roots in the Scandinavian design and crafts tradition. Contributing to the renewal of environmentally friendly design, their designs are centred around the personal experience.
Welling/Ludvik: Back to basics
“Our starting point was to get out of our drawing office and into nature to investigate the following concept of what characterises a chair.
A chair’s most distinguished function is basically to relieve the body, but how little must be done to fulfil this need?
Opportunities for sitting or relief options are found everywhere in nature – every stone, tree stump or knocked-over trunk fulfils this need. So we went hunting for beautiful and crooked details and alternative suggestions in the wood’s unlimited library.
It was cool to go explore with this in mind and to experience nature’s fantastic constructions, order and chaos through new glasses. We found many interesting and beautiful details, but ultimately fell in love with a single trunk’s branching and fusion.
This split-up construction provides a stable and rooted grip to the ground, while the torso-looking expression breaks away with the surrounding systems. But most importantly, the trunk fulfils the need for relief flawlessly.”
The duo of Krøyer-Sætter-Lassen comprises Emil Krøyer and Mads Sætter-Lassen, who are both recent graduates from The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design, Copenhagen. Their designs include stools, sofas and tables, and they typically make use of less conventional materials, such as rattan and green marble.
Krøyer-Sætter-Lassen: From tool to furniture piece
”Our approach to this project started with a historical perspective on how furniture for sitting had changed through human evolution. Our approach aimed to give us a deeper understanding of the chair as an object, and why we need the chair.
At the open-air museum in Brede, Denmark, we student different furniture for sitting. We found that the stool had numerous central roles in everyday work and life, and that in many different places it had small details adapted to specific functions.
This evolution, from a tool that could be compared to a craftsman’s hammer to a piece of furniture in your home, led to our final question: how would a stool that was tailored to our present-day needs look?
In our present age, we see that the stool can be observed as a multi-functional piece of furniture that does not necessarily need to be designed to fit specific spaces with specific functions and needs. In the present age, these functions can overlap freely from one to another, and this functional fusion can easily be reflected in a stool.
3. Anne Qvist
Anne Qvist is an experienced Aarhus designer, whose work ranges from designing street furniture, to lighting, architecture and furniture. Qvist has collaborated with many manufacturers, such as Damixa, Veksø and Ruko, and in her filmed contribution below, you can hear her talk about the Aqua chair design, which she did for Erik Jørgensen.
Anne Qvist: The Aqua Chair (video)