I have been thinking a lot about chairs lately; what makes them comfortable, attractive, worth buying. I don't remember caring as much about them before moving to Denmark so perhaps it’s an interest one inevitably develops amidst a culture proudly responsible for designing some of the most striking objects for sitting on. The chair is both a symbol of power and democracy, a piece of furniture that is conceptually simple yet hard to get perfectly right. Despite being happy with the ones we have at home, I somehow keep looking…
Here’s a selection of Danish chairs I like and don’t own:
1. Hans J. Wegner, The Chair - This is the chair John F. Kennedy was seated on during his debate with Richard Nixon in 1960. Some people interpreted that as a sign that Kennedy wanted to be associated with the egalitarian and democratic ideals that the Scandinavian countries were known for.
2. Finn Juhl, Pelican Chair - When they say this chair practically gives you a friendly hug when you sit down, they are not exaggerating. I could sit on this chair for hours.
3. Hans J. Wegner, The Valet Chair - I’ll be honest, this one doesn’t look particularly comfortable but I like that the idea for the chair only came about because Wegner was commissioned to design clothes racks for a hotel. As you can see, you could hang a jacket on the backrest, put your wallet and keys in the little pocket in the middle, and use the folded seat to hang your trousers. I love that.
4. Verner Panton, Panton Chair - I know from experience that this is not a comfortable chair but I love the fact Verner Panton was not afraid to go against everything that traditional Danish design stood for at the time: craftsmanship, wood, and muted colors. Instead, he designed a chair with legs, seat and back made of a single piece of brightly-colored plastic.
5. Kristian Illum Wikkelsø, IW3 rocking chair - Kat and I love this rocking chair, we just don’t seem to agree on the color. Kat likes it in white, I like it best in black or walnut as pictured here. We will get one of this at some point, I’m sure.
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