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Knotted Chair Chair, designed 1996, produced 2008

This is a chair. It was designed by Marcel Wanders and produced by Cappellini S.p.A.. It is dated designed 1996, produced 2008 and we acquired it in 2008. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Marcel Wanders is a young veteran of contemporary Dutch design. He is a member of the Dutch cooperative Droog Design, sharing their vision for simplicity, occasional wit, and creating visually spare and modest designs. His early works are distinguished by their use of ordinary materials or objects—string, sponges, eggs, lamp shades—employed in new and often surprisingly delightful ways. Because of this, many of Wanders’s designs have a look of familiarity, like his Knotted Chair, which evokes a time-worn hammock, but with a contemporary sensibility.
The chair is of rope “made from braided aramid fibers wrapped around a carbon core, knotted into the shape of a chair. It is then impregnated with epoxy and hung on a frame to harden.” Like many Droog designs, Knotted Chair is a craft-based approach to new materials, synthesizing ancient techniques, in this case, macramé, with high-tech fibers to yield a new furniture form.
Although originally part of the Droog collection, Knotted Chair is now distributed by the Italian manufacturer Cappellini. The chair was an outgrowth of a collaboration between the Droog Design Foundation and the Delft Aerospace Structures and Materials Laboratory at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Technology in Delft. The result was a new durable chair design that achieves lightness and delicacy, both physically and visually.
Knotted Chair would be the first work by the inventive Marcel Wanders in the museum’s collection. This piece would help to build our product design and decorative arts holdings of contemporary Dutch design. Aside from being a major addition to our furniture collection, Knotted Chair would also offer an interesting overlap with older and more traditional macramé objects in the textiles collection.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Knotted Chair.

This object was donated by Cap Design S.p.A.. It is credited Gift of Cappellini.

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  • 1962-51-14

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Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 70.8 x 53.3 x 63.5 cm (27 7/8 x 21 x 25 in.)

Cite this object as

Knotted Chair Chair, designed 1996, produced 2008; Designed by Marcel Wanders (Dutch, b. 1963); Italy; H x W x D: 70.8 x 53.3 x 63.5 cm (27 7/8 x 21 x 25 in.); Gift of Cappellini; 2008-23-1

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibitions Duro Olowu Selects and Making Design.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Knotted Chair Chair, designed 1996, produced 2008 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=24 September 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>