Designer: Tom Sachs
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.
Puffy Lounge Chair
Designer: Faye Toogood for Hem
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.
No. 0 Chair
Designer: Front for Weiner GTV Design
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.
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.
Designer: Chiara Andreatti for Pretziada
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.
Chignon Lounge Chair
Designer: LucidiPevere for Weiner GTV Design
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.
Shell Lounge Chair
Designer: Marco Sousa Santos for Branca Lisboa
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.)
Designer: Stephen Burks for BD Barcelona Design
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.
Designer: Ilé Ilà
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.
Designer: Takeshi Nii
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.
Designer: León León
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.
Designer: Matthew Hilton for De La Espada
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.
Low Chair Gropius
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.”