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Object Timeline

1996

  • Work on this object began.

2008

  • We acquired this object.

2012

2013

2014

2016

  • You found it!

Knotted 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. Its medium is rope (aramid fibers over carbon core; macramé knotting technique), soaked in epoxy resin, dried. 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 Day series in a post titled Knotted Chair.

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

Our curators have highlighted 14 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Sculptura Chair, ca. 1950
  • enameled and woven wrought iron wire, enameled wrought iron.
  • Gift in honor of Lee L. Woodard, Sadie Greenman Woodard, their sons and their....
  • 1994-11-2
  • Sandows No. 5 Side Chair, 1929
  • bent chromium-plated tubular steel, fiber, rubber.
  • Museum purchase through gift of Esme Usdan and from General Acquisitions....
  • 2006-17-1

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, designed 1996, produced 2008; Designed by Marcel Wanders (Dutch, born 1963); Italy; rope (aramid fibers over carbon core; macramé knotting technique), soaked in epoxy resin, dried; 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

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18729815/ |title=Knotted Chair, designed 1996, produced 2008 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=25 July 2016 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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