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Design, Design Icons, Designers, Hygge, Scandi Design  |  04 April 2020

Design icon — The MENU Knitting Chair.

In the first in our series of “Design icons” we’re looking at Scandinavian design classic the Knitting Chair.

Designed in 1951 by Ib Kofod-Larsen, re-issued by MENU in 2018.

We love its combination of stylish mid-century modern aesthetic and brilliant practicality, within an overarching consideration of simple home pleasures and comfort. Originally sold as a limited edition in 1951, Danish design house MENU has now reissued the chair in a limited run of just 99, with a new dark, solid oak frame and sumptuous grey Aniline leather upholstery.

UK based, design-led retailer Nest has been selling the Knitting Chair since September 2018 so we asked them to tell us more about it and here’s what they said:

“Originally designed in 1951, Ib Kofod-Larsen’s Knitting Chair was first presented at the Copenhagen Cabinetmakers’ Guild Furniture Exhibition, where it received widespread critical acclaim.

A prominent figure in Danish Modernism, Ib Kofod-Larsen’s creativity encompassed a rare instinct for proportion, materials, and human comfort, which brought him recognition well beyond Denmark’s borders and earned him the title of bestselling Danish architect in the US in the 1950s.

The chair’s specific sounding name reflects its intended purpose and is supported by the design — the cut-out sections have been specially designed to rest your elbows in while knitting. It also features a gently curved back and seat for optimum relaxation, and a sleek triangular frame, characteristic of the mid-century movement.

While we may not be wielding knitting needles quite as much as we did in the 1950s, the chair’s beautiful design has certainly endured. The elbow rests within the chair are just as useful today whether you’re unwinding with the daily paper, playing on your smartphone, or, indeed, knitting.

A closer look at the design.

  • The Knitting Chair is beautiful from every angle and adaptive to many environments.
  • Security and comfort — the result of Kofod-Larsen’s constant care to ensure ideal angles and lumbar support.
  • Sculptural details — a striking shape with clean, simple lines achieved through close partnership with skilled woodworkers.

A closer look at the designer.

“Ib’s furniture was rooted in reality,” says the designer’s son, Jan Kofod-Larsen. “He took a lot of pride in his work, and was iterative in the design process, working closely with his manufacturers to get every detail just right. His hope was to create a design that would endure, both functionally and aesthetically.”

Ib Kofod-Larsen, was born in Denmark in 1921. As an architect and furniture designer Kofod-Larsen’s lifetime work demonstrated simplicity of line coupled with the use of comfortable materials. He worked particularly closely with his craftsman to ensure the quality of every product he designed. Many of his designs became particularly sought-after during the 1950’s and 60’s and have become popular again in more recent years due to the upsurge in demand for high quality Scandinavian modernist furniture.

A perfect union — the Knitting Chair reissued by MENU.

The Knitting Chair was first produced as a limited edition in the 1950s and, shortly after, became a highly sought-after, collectable item. A clear parallel runs between Ib’s intention for this iconic design and MENU’s design philosophy: both hold a strong approach and determined focus on creating pieces for the future while acknowledging the past. MENU’s ethos of uniting old and new is a concept that allows their designs to continue surprising customers with new expressions of classic Scandinavian values.

The Knitting Chair pays tribute to the roots of their story, presenting a 1950s design classic that embodies every MENU design value. Innovation, stunning materials, calm, natural tones and the unrivalled ability to enliven spaces that shape our lives with the versatility to meet real human needs.”

Find out more.

Whether you have a penchant for mid-century design or like us you like to dream about how you’d furnished your Kiss House (if the world was your oyster and money was no object), you can find out more here:

Nest — for gorgeous design pieces
Knitting Chair at Nest
MENU Danish design house
Scandinavian Design by TASCHEN

Kiss®, Kiss House® and the Kiss House makers mark are registered Trademarks of Kiss House Ltd.

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