Wick Chair by Karl Malmvall & Jesper Ståhl for Design House Stockholm
Updated: Jan 22, 2020
The duo responsible for the Wick Chair are designers with roots in the province of Småland where so much of the skills and expertise of the Swedish furniture industry have developed. Their lengthy experience of designing furniture has given the duo a detailed understanding of the criteria for a modular shell chair.
Design is only radical when it breaks with the norm for what a furniture typology should look like. Wick Chair is not, in the words of Design House Stockholm founder Anders Färdig, a ‘plastic tub.’
“Karl and Jesper placed an old basket in front of me, explaining that this was what they had in mind,” Anders Färdig remarks. “I was pretty much all at sea!”
The intention was never to produce a basket but the item that the designers presented explains the origins of the Wick Chair and the values that it conveys.
There are limits to how much one can bend wood, that was why they decided on the plaiting.
This pragmatic, no-nonsense approach, has been directly inherited from the country-craft tradition but it is also a solution that gives the Wick Chair its unique shape.
One positive effect of the interweaving is that at the point where the pieces of wood lock each other they can be glued on both sides. True, Jesper Ståhl and Karl Malmvall had simplified the shape to its absolute essence so that the Wick Chair only has one interwoven element on each side, but the shape has many intentional functional aspects. It is the trials and the insights that follow that have made working with laminated wood so rewarding.
The chair gains a resilience and a tension that one cannot achieve using solid wood.