While I can’t quite decide if the Hug Chair by Hungarian designer Gabriella Asztalos is ultra contemporary or decidedly retro, I know it’s the kind of furnishing that may become iconic. In fact, it may be precisely because it toes the line between future and past that the piece is able to make such a striking aesthetic statement.
The Hug Chair. Designed by Gabriella Asztalos.
The Hug Chair’s Half Pipe Design Encourages Intimacy
Much in the manner of Aarnio’s Bubble Chair and Thor-Larsen’s Egg Chair, Asztalos’ Hug incorporates an abstract concept into a lively and dynamic furnishing by using the very notion of a hug to formulate an innovative, original chair.
Contrary to expectations, perhaps, the Hug Chair involves neither suffocatingly close confines nor a pair of tightly-wound arms, but just the kind of easy intimacy that culminates in a bona fide heartfelt embrace. Asztalos puts it thusly: “A unique uni-body circular structure connects both seats together allowing two people to sit face-to-face and thus creating an immediate intimate interaction. Through this physical connection, you feel socially and emotionally connected with the person sitting on the opposite side.”
The piece facilitates enclosure without suggesting entrapment, thus encouraging the emotional connection to which Asztalos alludes. And much in the manner of a cozy corner booth, the Hug Chair’s fine styling and exquisite details enhance the ambiance: choose Classic or Contemporary styles, featuring, respectively, fine walnut laminates or slick fiberglass in black or white. Both versions come upholstered in luxuriant leather—you (and your significant other) choose the color.
About the Designer: Born in Budapest and educated all over Europe, designer Gabriella Asztalos began her artistic forays as a ballet dancer. This most kinetic of disciplines seems to have spilled over into her aesthetic sense. Such is the effect, at least, of Asztalos’ Hug Chair, whose intriguing “half-pipe” spiral communicates motion and stillness at once. The spiral design duplicates hugging arms, as well as the “feelings of a hug: affection, warmth, care, support, comfort, trust, love… the chair delivers these same feelings across its unique and powerful uni-body design.”