Most of us look for the the basics in a chair, things like ergonomic design, cushy padding and durable arm rests. But some intrepid designers look beyond to more eccentric ideas. Sure, not every designer chair makes for the most comfortable seating, but they’re all a bit more interesting than the average L-shape on legs. Here are 10 of our favorites:
The C.H.A.I.R. Concept, Eric Ku
More than an exercise in spelling, the C.H.A.I.R. assembles into a simple seat with backing. When it’s not in use, the pieces could either stack up for stowing or form an art piece on man’s desire for rest.
Firewood Holders, Ak47 Design
Wood-burning fireplaces, however cozy, don’t lend themselves to the trappings of modern design. There’s simply no place to stash all that firewood, unless it’s integrated into the furniture. Ak47′s Firewood Holders use strips of hardened steel to form a contoured seat and ottoman. They are, of course, perfect for lounging by the fire.
BADA Table, EcoSystems
The BADA table is sort of like those drop-leaf tables that expand for more eating room, but instead of swinging out, a piece of the table flips and lowers to reveal a bench. There’s no fumbling with locks either, because this table uses a credit card to engage and disengage the locking mechanism. All restaurants should have this, so you can lay down after signing the bill on a big meal.
The Cabbage Chair, Nendo
The bean bag chair has nothing on this creation by Japanese designer Nendo. Assembled as part of an art showing called “Ghost Stories,” the Cabbage Chair is at once inviting with its layered layers of pleated waste paper and threatening with a seating depression that appears to sink into the netherworld. We’d take our chances and give it a shot.
The SKiN Seating Collection, Jean Nouvel
The award-winning SKiN, despite its uncomplimentary name, looks like it’d be comfortable, as if the airy chairbacks would flex to the body’s contours. Framed by tubular pre-tensioned aluminum, the chairs are stuffed with foam rubber and covered with hide leather and felt finishings. Perhaps the slotted seats are the answer to sticky leather sofas.
The Rehhab Fully Loaded Chair, Alexander Reh
Shotgun shells don’t often lend themselves to comfort, but Alexander Reh has found a way with the Fully Loaded Chair. With the exception of the frame, the chair is filled in entirely with spent and perforated 12-gauge shotgun shells. It’s probably great to sit in, but we imagine that getting the materials together to build each chair is a blast.
The Shadow Chair, Chris Duffy
Skillfully filling the optical illusion seating niche, Chris Duffy has created the Shadow Chair. If you haven’t figured it out without reading the description (it’s okay, we didn’t), the shadow is simply part of the chair’s metal frame, painted black to fool the eyes. Still, it’s probably not a good idea to sit on this chair too heartily, or the whole illusion will come crashing down.
Via Lattea Glowing Chair, Mario Bellini
An inflatable, glow-in-the-dark couch seems perfect for outdoor parties, but Mario Bellini’s Via Lattea looks stylish enough for any occasion where more seating is needed. Best of all, it’s made entirely of recycled materials, as if visitors weren’t already impressed.
Loopita, Victor Aleman
Picture a relaxing day at home, reading alongside your spouse or significant other. A couch won’t do for the occasional break for conversation, but Victor Aleman’s Loopita floor level chaise fills that role just fine. It’s constructed of a single piece of red oak, covered in comforting high-density foam. It even looks a bit like a ring, she’ll hint. Be prepared.
Flat Chair, Sara Paculdo
The trick to this chair is that it ships flat, as one solid piece. But Ikea this is not; it’s up to the end user to bend the plastic material into shape and bolt it together with included screws. That’s easy for Paculdo, who has a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s in industrial design, but the rest of us will struggle, making the eventual sitting part all the more rewarding.
Thanks for reading DesignCravers, Diggers, Stumblers and more. What is your favorite chair from the list above? Is there a chair you’ve seen recently that you would have added to this list? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to read your opinion!