The Beginning of the Egg Era: Nanna and Jørgen Ditzel’s Egg Chair

I have long been a fan of cocoon-like forms: cozy, calm and protected, furniture that you sink into rather than sit on.  They provide an escape, however temporary, from both your physical and emotional surroundings.  Crawl up with a good book or a the latest issue of your favorite magazine and enjoy a bit of self-imposed seclusion.  In this case, the “cocoon-like form is more specifically that of an egg.  Designed by Nanna & Jørgen Ditzel in 1959, the Egg Chair has since been defined as a design classic. 

The Egg Chair, designed by Nanna & Jørgen Ditzel and manufactured by Bonacina Pierantonio.

The design illustrates the naturalist themes common in Scandinavian design  (fitting seeing as the design duo is from Copenhagen). A woven wicker form within a steel frame (and of course a seat cushion for added comfort within)   suspends from a nickel-plated hanging chain (a fixing catch is included), in a fashion similar to Eero Aarnio’s Bubble Chair (1968).  Described as “a room within a room”, its similarities extend beyond the suspension factor despite the fact that the materiality and overall aesthetic differ tremendously.   For the garden or terrace, a loft or modern living space, the Egg Chair provides an often-necessary escape.  With its more nature-driven aesthetic (compared to Aarnio’s futuristic-modern vibe), its capable of being a more transitional piece.   The lack of a strong beam or tree branch prohibit installation since it is also available in a free-standing version. 

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The egg form has gained popularity.  Contemporary designs which utilize this shape include the Culla Sinuè crib by Daniela Avaltroni, the Ovalia Egg Chair designed by Henrik Thor-Larsen, Villeroy and Boch’s Aveo Bath and finally the LOMME bed designed by Günther Thöny.  The current trend, however, seems to be a more literal interpretation of the shape and aesthetic.

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