Unique in their originality and impactful in their design; iconic chairs and their designers are the celebrated forefathers of the design world. Let’s take a look at some of the evocative chairs that have decorated and filled interior spaces throughout history, influencing the contemporary furniture pieces we see today.

Nigerian Yoruba Beaded Chair

Vibrant and distinctive, the Yoruba beaded chair is a product of tradition and dedication to a bespoke craft, originally created as thrones for the Kings and Queens of the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria, West Africa. The craftmanship is closely guarded, with the intricate detailing technique of forming three-dimensional beadwork only being passed down and shared through family. With each chair taking around three months and hundreds of thousands of beads to complete, the Yoruba chair is a true artistic statement and an encapsulation of cultural expression.

Source: Italian Bark
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Source: Aphrophic
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Zig-Zag Chair by Gerrit Rietveld

The Zig-Zag chair, synonymous with its unique shape, is one of the most recognisable and iconic chairs of the 20th century. Gerrit Rietveld, well-known for his architectural endeavours was tasked by the Dutch Department store, Metz & Co. to design a chair specifically for mass production. The Zig-Zag chair rejects convention, showcasing a primary example of a cantilevered seat, paired with a straight back and Z shaped based, formed from four pieces of wood. At first glance it presents as unstable, however with boards joined at precise angles, the piece is surprisingly sturdy, comfortable, and stackable.

Source: Cassina
Source: Flack Studio

Carimate Chair by Vico Magistretti

Simplistic, yet impactful. Bold yet adaptable. The Carimate Chair was one of Vico Magistretti’s earliest designs, catapulting him into success and solidifying his position as a driving force within the Italian design world. The Carimate Chair is a true testament to the transcendence of design and style through furniture. The mix of Scandi and Italian design styles, make for a unique product that embraces traditional materiality, with use of steel, wood and straw, yet appears modern in its clean lines and woven seat.

Source: SomeForm
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Source: ArchiPro
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Up Armchair by Gaetano Pesce

Designed by the renowned Gaetano Pesce, the Up Chair is considered as the most idiosyncratic chair designs of the 20entury. Inspired by the swelling properties of a sponge, Pesce conceived the ‘Up’ chair and in its original design it arrived vacuum sealed, only expanding to its final shape once removed from the packaging. The feminine silhouette and the unique bulbous shaping pushed the boundaries of traditional chair design in its day leading to the expansion of contemporary furniture principles that we see today.

Source: Aren't&Pyke
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Source: Est Living
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The Spanish Chair by Børge Mogensen

Børge Mogensen was a pioneer in Danish modern design, with his life ambition to create durable yet innovative products that stood the test of time. Inspired by Spanish methods of chair making, The Spanish Chair was created using strong leather within a sturdy wooden frame. Aesthetically organic and bold, The Spanish Chair is function driven, and yet uniquely adaptable in the spaces it can inhabit.

Source: Nordic New
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Source: Fredericia Furniture
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