You successfully subscribed to our newsletter!
You unsubscribed from our newsletter. Sorry to see you go!

This isn't an ordinary chair

"What is it that makes design so different, so appealing?" Yes, I might be quoting famous pop-art painter Richard Hamilton in a slightly dissimilar way, but the question is quite intriguing! When shopping online or in-store for new furniture pieces, how do we know exactly which objects get the qualification of ‘true design’? Even if you’re not a design furniture expert, there are some classic eyecatchers you don’t want to miss out of!

One of the most famous furniture pieces might be the 3107 chair of Danish designer Arne Jacobsen, better known as the number 7 chair of Fritz Hansen. Even before Fritz came in sight, Arne Jacobsen, born in 1902, was already highly valuated as an architect. Influenced by both Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, Jacobsen preached the idea of form follows function. That idea came from another modernist architect, Louis Sullivan, who believed that the shape of a building should be mainly based upon its intended function or purpose.

Throughout the years, Jacobsen became aware of the fine line between architecture and interior design, and that line faded away in the 1930s. Jacobsen always liked the idea of gesamtkunst – a total work of art, several fully intertwined disciplines. When Fritz Hansen, owner of a Danish furniture company, asked him to work together, Jacobsen didn’t hesitate and took a plunge in the unknown.

It’s no surprise that both men where Danish – if we think of true minimalism, hygge, spaciousness and modern interiors, we tend to automatically turn to the Scandinavian style. In the 1950s, Jacobsen designed some of his most famous chairs ever made, which contained the 3107 chair – yes, more than 50 years old that is, and still up to date today!

Jacobsen made it no secret that he was inspired by the modernist power duo Charles and Ray Eames to design his masterpiece. Charles and Ray Eames invented a technique that allowed plywood to bend in different positions. Before that, it was quite difficult to make a chair out of one piece. Jacobsen used this technique and refined it – and so the 3107 chair was born! His background as an architect definitely shines through in the chair itself. Timeless, sophisticated and most significantly: form does follows function. A chair might be looking pretty but if its function doesn’t meet our requirements – sitting comfortably – we would never tend to buy it at all, right? The 3107 chair has, in all its minimalism, a highly ergonomic value, which might be the greatest achievement of Arne Jacobsen in the first place.

Lots of copies have been made but one can never compare to a true Arne Jacobsen chair. The Fritz Hansen design company still sells the chair along with some other designs that Jacobsen has made, and today you can not only find it in plywood, but in every material and color possible. So whether you’re living the dream in a loft-styled apartment, or enjoying life in a countryside home, Jacobsen managed to design a timeless piece that will match any dining room table! 

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Photography by Hannelore Veelaert and Patricia Goijens.