by Louis Postel | Showboats International |http://www.showboats.com/ October 2016
Found the perfect chair yet, one that is comfortable for hours on end while simultaneously holding your most striking profile from the bottom up? If you have, you’re lucky because most haven’t, including, ironically enough, many esteemed Chairmen of the Board.
That’s because sitting upright and uptight in that very civilized Western way tends to ultimately humble us as well, inducing us to hunch over, thereby cutting off our lungs’ capacity, pressurizing our guts and aging our profiles fifty years.
How, then, to get a load off after a long day before the mast? Recliners and rockers suggests UC Berkeley architecture professor Galen Cranz in her seminal book, The Chair: Rethinking culture, body, and design.
Cranz urges her readers not to be shamed out of using a recliner, because of their association with overstuffed, uncool La Z Boys, or out of using a rocker, due to their association with Grumpy Grannies on a weedy porch. There’s a growing list of body-centric options coming on the market that are cause to sit up and take notice, from Mid-Century classic revivals to cutting-edge and futuristic. https://www.amazon.com/Chair-Rethinking-Culture-Body-Design/dp/0393319555
Rock Steady, Baby. Charles and Ray Eames realized their first successful, single-shell form in 1950 with the Molded Fiberglass Chairs. However, when the environmental risks associated with fiberglass production became more widely understood, Herman Miller, in 2004, reintroduced the Molded Plastic Armchair Rocker in aqua polypropylene and a variety of other colors and wood choices. Base price, $519.00, upholstery $200 additional, from http://store.hermanmiller.com/
Wish upon a fish. Montreal-based designer Stéphane Leathead calls his internationally-acclaimed chaise lounge rocker the Exocet. That’s the scientific term for a flying fish which Exocet resembles when its sections cross. Spread, they become gull wings. The real marvel behind its metamorphic genius is it’s all done from a single slat around a cylinder. Available in five different veneers, $ 7,500.00 from www.designarium.ca
Fit for Prince (RIP). While the Wink 111 is indeed in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, it has always been more about Princely Play than High Art. Recently updated with many more fabric and color options, designer Toshiyuki Kita’s enduring symbol of the hedonistic 80s morphs from armchair to chaise longue with a simple forward tilt. The Wink 111 starts at $4,175 with no charge for the Mickey Mouse. http://www.cassina.com
Why sit when you can move? At the aft deck minibar or at the piano in the salon, the Move Chair by designer Per Øie takes you where you want to go. With a slightly rounded base, Move enables you to tilt with élan well short of capsizing. The payoff is in the open angle between the upper and lower body, which invariably boosts circulation and energy. Add a Glow to the base of the Move to track your movement on a custom App to see the calories burned and daily progress. $499 (plus an optional $50 for the Glow and $89.95 for a rubber sole for a better grip on hard surfaces. Available in a variety of custom colors from www.VarierFurniture.com
Bottoms Up! Designed by Barcelona native Carlos Riart in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the Barcelona chair in 1982, the Riart Rocker draws inspiration from the classy profile of starchitect Mies van der Rohe’s original. Three cheers for cool minimalism done in warm wood. $3,492.00 www.knoll.com