richard hutten: zuiderzee chair
richard hutten: zuiderzee chair
apr 18, 2011

richard hutten: zuiderzee chair

‘zuiderzee chair’ by richard hutten, commissioned for the zuiderzee museum and produced by NgispeN

‘zuiderzee chair’ was created by dutch designer richard hutten for the zuiderzee museum in the netherlands and featured on exhibition with dutch furniture company NgispeN during milan design week 2011.

‘zuiderzee’ is based on a traditional dutch chair composed of wood and woven sticks or straw. in hutten’s interpretation, smooth beech wood, subtle curves, and a slimmer profile offer the piece a contemporary aesthetic, whose basic form nonetheless references its historical origins. not merely ornamental, however, the design details are responsible for a considerable decrease in weight and significantly increased comfort of the chair over its predecessor.

richard hutten: zuiderzee chair front view

richard hutten: zuiderzee chair side view

richard hutten: zuiderzee chair three-quarters view

richard hutten: zuiderzee chair detail view

richard hutten: zuiderzee chair richard hutten portrait © designboom

the piece is a focal point of  ‘chairisma‘, on now through september 9th, 2011 at the zuiderzee museuem, an exhibition which displays historical chairs that have been significant in hutten’s design process and pays particular attention to the development of ‘zuiderzee’.

hutten reflects: ‘one of the most important aspects or features of a product is that it is functional. but the func­tion of a design is the starting point and may never be the goal. sitting comfortably is not the only thing. it’s about what you add as a designer: it might be a story, technology, choice of material or form. a new product must have a reason.’

‘zuiderzee chair’ is planned to be produced by NgispeN in natural beech and white.

richard hutten: zuiderzee chair the chairs on display with NgispeN during milan design week 2011 image © designboom

richard hutten: zuiderzee chair image © designboom

richard hutten: zuiderzee chair hutten poses with the traditional chairs off of which he based ‘zuiderzee’

  • a chair…. thats it

    j says:
  • @j, no it is definitely not! it is gorgeous. the beauty of industrial design is very frequently in the nuances of lines and proportions. look at how thin the seat and back of this chair are, or at the way that the backrest curves deeply inward in the center, and then wraps around the back posts. and this is WOOD that we are talking about!

    this chair is really beautiful, with a subtle, functional, pleasing form… exactly what design should be about, instead of products vying to be the next ostentatious supertrend.

    well done, richard hutten.

    richard d. says:
  • You are right, it is a gorgeous chair and crafty use of wood. I notice a slight angle in the back which may just save it from being terribly uncomfortable as the traditional dutch ladderbacks are. They must have been a very upright lot, those old dutch people.
    Nice work.

    Peter maclean says:
  • quiet, simple, beautiful

    corks says:
  • all those gushing over the concept of simplicity whilst denigrating designs with more flourish – you protest too much. I get sick of designers making sacred pronouncements asserting that design ‘should’ be about this or that.

    This chair isn’t particularly beautiful. Its actually just about aesthetically neutral. I think the reason some designers convince themselves that ‘simple’ is an ideal or absolute, is because it makes their own modest aspirations more easily attainable – I don’t think they have much confidence in their imagination. Complexity and flourish are much harder to achieve than simplicity and unobtrusiveness.

    douglas montgomery says:
  • @ richard d.

    who determines which form is pleasing?

    I don’t buy the subtlety and nuance as sufficient explanation. Implicit in that arguement is a kind of intellectual blackmail which tries to suggest that if one finds this chair merely inoffensive or too aesthetically passive, then its because one lacks appreciation.

    I’m a design student and I know what it is I want to achieve, and no-one has a right to make declarations about what design should or shouldn’t be.

    douglas montgomery says:

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