Erik Magnussen (1940-2014) is not a typical chair designer. He was educated as a ceramist at the School of Applied Arts and Design, graduating in 1960. His works – ranging from tableware to furniture, lamps and high-tech products – are characterized by simplicity and functional elegance.
He has worked for manufacturers such as Bing & Grøndahl, Stelton, Fritz Hansen, Royal Copenhagen, Paustian, Royal Selangor and Shipmate – realizing many different products in a variety of materials. One of his most famous products is the vacuum jug he designed for Stelton in 1977. The vacuum jug, which was originally launched in stainless steel, is now produced in ABS plastic and throughout the time has been produced in more than 30 colours. Erik Magnussen’s vacuum jug was introduced as follow-up to Arne Jacobsen’s Cylinda-Line. Just like Arne Jacobsen’s design the stringent cylindrical shape and two-coloured, graphic appearance of the vacuum jug expresses a minimalism and functionality that keeps being ahead of its time.
He designed two chairs for Engelbrechts (for future posts) and Engelbrechts seems having produced The Z Down Folding Chair as well.
According to a Swedish store the Z Down was produced between 1960 and 1969 by Torben Ørskov. Vintage mentions two for sale.
Another chair to be presented at Milan 2011 this month is Piana by British architect David Chipperfield for Italian design company Alessi. Alessi is well known for its innovative designs in mostly all things that can be labelled “accessories”, so a new product being a chair is a unique step for the company.
Piana is a folding and stackable seat that is manufactured from 100% recycled polypropylene and rotates around a single point held by two screws. Available in 6 kitchen-friendly (2 of which even sound yummy) colors: white, raspberry red, saffron yellow, patina green, traffic black and pebble grey.
Bek chair by Giulio Iacchetti is created using special Polygiene technology that gives the chair its unique antibacterial properties (How’s that for a season of flues?). The rigid yet light folding chair comes in red, black, white and green, and a set of 8 chairs can be held by a trolley done in black painted metal.