Why the Flag Halyard Chair matters
Hans Wegner supposedly came up with the idea for this grid-like seat in while sitting in a sand dune on holiday
You've probably come across Hans Wegner's Flag Halyard Chair in your local design shop and possibly thought WTF? It certainly is one of the more unusual looking items in our wonderful new book Chair: 500 Designs That Matter.
There's an interesting, though possibly apocryphal story attached to its design by the Danish furniture designer Wegner. The story goes that Wegner conceived this design while on the beach towards the end of the 1940s. He supposedly modelled the grid-like seat in a sand dune, presumably with some old rope that lay close to hand. (A ‘halyard’ is a line that hoists or covers a sail.)
The chair went into production in the 1950s and its unlikely combination of rope, painted and chrome-plated steel, sheepskin and linen are still unprecedented in furniture manufacture.
Wegner’s motivation in using such contrasting materials was apparently not to exploit their textural interplay but more simply to demonstrate his ability to design innovative, practical and comfortable furniture - in any material.
Wegner's Flag Halyard Chair was initially made by Getama in limited numbers, but was never a runaway commercial success. More recently however, it has been put back into production by PP Møbler.
All this and 499 other chairs of various hues and guises in our brilliantly readable book Chair: 500 Designs That Matter.