New look for Arne Jacobsen's iconic Series 7 chair

Leong Hon Kit and Si Jian Xin’s Horizon Chair incorporates ladder rungs to the frame for a tall version of the chair. -- PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN, REPUBLIC OF FRITZ HANSEN
Leong Hon Kit and Si Jian Xin’s Horizon Chair incorporates ladder rungs to the frame for a tall version of the chair. -- PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN, REPUBLIC OF FRITZ HANSEN
The original Series 7 chair by Arne Jacobsen. -- PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN, REPUBLIC OF FRITZ HANSEN
The original Series 7 chair by Arne Jacobsen. -- PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN, REPUBLIC OF FRITZ HANSEN
Sam Ang and Sal Chua’s version is titled Series 8, 9, 10, 11... (Experiment On Curves Vs Light). -- PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN, REPUBLIC OF FRITZ HANSEN
Sam Ang and Sal Chua’s version is titled Series 8, 9, 10, 11... (Experiment On Curves Vs Light). -- PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN, REPUBLIC OF FRITZ HANSEN
The designers include (back row, from far left) Si Jian Xin, Leong Hon Kit, Sal Chua, Sam Ang, Brendon Lim, Peter Tay, Terence Chan, (front row, from far left) Robert Greg Shand and Colin Seah. -- PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN, REPUBLIC OF FRITZ HANSEN
The designers include (back row, from far left) Si Jian Xin, Leong Hon Kit, Sal Chua, Sam Ang, Brendon Lim, Peter Tay, Terence Chan, (front row, from far left) Robert Greg Shand and Colin Seah. -- PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN, REPUBLIC OF FRITZ HANSEN

Seven Singaporean design teams have given Arne Jacobsen's Series 7 chair fresh updates

Renowned for its elegant hourglass figure, the Series 7 chair has been re-imagined into seven forms by seven Singaporean design teams.

It has been plated and chromed, covered in weaving and even transformed into a mini villa. One is even suspended in mid-air.

These creative new incarnations are on show at the Republic of Fritz Hansen showroom till June 30, after which they will move to the National Design Centre to be exhibited on July 9 and 10.

Series 7 is an iconic chair created by Danish designer Arne Jacobsen in 1955. So far, it has sold more than seven million pieces worldwide.

To commemorate its 60th anniversary, luxury furniture studio W. Atelier and Danish furniture design company Republic of Fritz Hansen collaborated to create 7 Architects x Series 7 - a project that gives Singaporean creatives free rein to re-interpret and transform the chair, so long as the chair's form is preserved.

The seven groups include celebrity interior designer Peter Tay, two-time recipient of Singapore President's Design Award Colin Seah and International Design Awards Gold recipients Sam Ang and Sal Chua.

The newly designed and re-imagined chairs came in a multitude of forms.

Tay, 44, founder of Peter Tay Studio created a chair with a mirrored back. Aptly named Anywhere, it reflects its surroundings, allowing for the piece to meld effortlessly into its environment.

On the original Series 7's appeal, he says: "To me, part of the chair's sublime beauty comes from the way form and function converge into such a timeless piece."

Coincidentally, Seah, 43, founder and design director of Ministry of Design, had come up with a similar idea. His chair, Kamaeleon (Danish for chameleon), features an eighth mirrored chrome film layer over the original seven timber veneers.

The result is a futuristic-looking, fully reflective chair.

Another team comprising Ang, 42, and Chua, 42, from Grey Canopy stood out from the crowd, with their chair being suspended in mid-air so people can admire the Series 7 in its pure form, since visitors cannot sit on it.

Their piece, Series 8, 9, 10, 11... (Experiment On Curves Vs Light), features a meticulous, hand-pasted arrangement of timber dowels on the surface of the chair.

Dowels are solid cylindrical rods often used as pegs.

They hoped to create a textured, dynamic chair that looks different under different lighting.

"The shadows dance and change with the curves," Chua says.

Seah, Ang and Chua plan to keep their one-of-a-kind chairs in their studios after the exhibitions, while Tay hopes to sell his to raise funds for Abilities Beyond Limitations and Expectations, an organisation which helps the physically challenged community in Singapore.

tanjh@sph.com.sg