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Shop Chair

Designer: Tom Sachs

Country: USA

In typical Sachs fashion, the concept of the perforated Shop Chair is as much about the nature of design as it is about sitting. With an Eames-like seat and rubber flex mounts for comfort, and a thick maple plywood base, it’s a perfect example of how the artist turns something familiar into something extraordinary.


Courtesy of Hem

Puffy Lounge Chair

Designer: Faye Toogood for Hem

Country: England

Produced by Swedish furniture maker Hem, Toogood’s lounger combines an inviting quilt-like cushion with a steel frame—a design so minimal it feels near-incomplete. It comes in a range of leather and cloth options, with different color bases, so you can choose either stark and clinical or warm and relaxing.


Courtesy of Front

No. 0 Chair

Designer: Front for Weiner GTV Design

Country: Sweden

Stockholm studio Front’s reinterpretation of Gebrüder Thonet Vienna’s beyond-classic No. 14 chair—designed in 1860 (!), the first mass-produced piece of furniture ever!—adds a curvy arm but doesn’t sacrifice the minimal, regal power of the Viennese original.

Price upon request,

Courtesy of Seungjin Yang

Blowing Armchair 1

Designer: Seungjin Yang

Country: South Korea

Seoul-based furniture designer Yang’s whimsical armchair is made from attached balloons that have been repeatedly coated, astonishingly, with epoxy resin. Available as a custom order, it pushes at-home seating into cartoonishly fun territory.


Courtesy of Pretziada

Inès Chair

Designer: Chiara Andreatti for Pretziada

Country: Italy

Crafted by third-generation Sardinian woodworker Pierpaolo Mandis for the brand Pretziada, the Inès is influenced by the kid-size caned seats commonly kept around homes on that island, to be used outdoors, cracking almonds or sitting by the fire.


Courtesy of LucidiPevere

Chignon Lounge Chair

Designer: LucidiPevere for Weiner GTV Design

Country: Italy

Another riff on the historic bentwood chairs of Gebrüder Thonet Vienna, the plush, bright, and round Chignon from the Italian outfit LucidiPevere is a new design that recalls the stout and appealing big-cushioned seats of the ’70s.


Courtesy of Branca Lisboa

Shell Lounge Chair

Designer: Marco Sousa Santos for Branca Lisboa

Country: Portugal

Sturdy as a backbone but as open as a sieve, the Shell takes its cues from the spine, expanding its connected accordion shape into a round, spacious bowl. It can take on either a luxe or spare vibe depending on how many pillows you drop in its seat. (It comes with four.)


Courtesy of BD Barcelona Design

Grasso Chair

Designer: Stephen Burks for BD Barcelona Design

Country: Spain

Grasso is Italian for “fat,” but this chair isn’t actually overweight, says its American Designer, Stephen Burks: “It’s overflowing.” Indeed, with leather cushions oozing out of a broad iron frame, it feels like an update of those ’80s-era Corbusier LC2 armchairs with the cushions that sink out past their frames after regular use.


Courtesy of Ilé Ilà

Line Chair

Designer: Ilé Ilà

Country: Nigeria

This Lagos-based design firm takes inspiration from minimalist architecture and places it in a contemporary Yoruban context. In other words, it sets West African fabrics and woods into exacting, clean shapes. The Line chair’s sharp angles recall work by French modern design legend Pierre Jeanneret.


Courtesy of Takeshi Nii


Designer: Takeshi Nii

Country: Japan

A Japanese classic designed in 1970 that’s won awards over three separate decades, this is one of those epochal pieces that makes time bend. Was it really made 50 years ago? Light, foldable, and reasonably priced, it’s the camp chair’s platonic ideal.


Courtesy of León León

BN01 Chair

Designer: León León

Country: Mexico

Mexico City-based León León’s BN01 is an unadorned leather canopy hanging over a base of light parota wood—the kind found mostly in Latin America. Shaped a bit like Kaare Klint’s 1933 Safari chair but with the same direct energy that characterizes Percival Lafer’s ’70s loungers, it’s sleek, unassuming, and stately.


Photograph by Sarah Lee

Kimble Chair

Designer: Matthew Hilton for De La Espada

Country: England

A Windsor chair produced by the Portuguese furniture maker De La Espada, the Kimble looks as elegant as a museum piece but reinterpreted in a customizable, opulent way. Each variation of the ash and walnut chair—whether finished with white, black, or Danish oil—offers a different aesthetic and energy, from simple and stark to vibrant and contrasting.


Courtesy of NOOM

Low Chair Gropius

Designer: NOOM

Country: Ukraine

NOOM Designer Kateryna Sokolova pays tribute to furniture heroes of the past: The Low Chair Gropius, named after the Bauhaus founder, uses the rough dimensions of his famous F51 armchair, inverted to be softer and more playful.

A version of this story originally appeared in the October 2021 issue with the title “Around the World in 13 Chairs.”

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