in 1955, arne jacobsen set a new standard for chair design when he created what was to become the most sold stackable chair in design history. the series 7 is seen by many as one of the finest examples of timeless design, remaining popular for six decades – a period of profound changes in technology, culture and lifestyle.
to celebrate it’s 60th anniversary this year, fritz hansen asked danish artist tal r to pick nine new colours for the series 7 chair, to revitalise the design and present the iconic chair in a new light. internationally celebrated for his profound sense of colour, tal r has created a unique series of artistic colours for this project, all of which blend and change with the light, the space, the seasons and other aspects of the environment.
indeed, when we visited his studio in copenhagen a few weeks ago to see the new hues, there was much debate over the chocolate milk brown; a colour which is described as ‘an indulgent brown with a touch of creamy white, drawn between brown and rose’. in the warm afternoon light of the studio very few of us could see brown in the shade at all, yet when we saw the chair later that evening under artificial lighting, the chocolate milkiness of the shade became more apparent.
“i grew up with the series 7 chair,” says tar r of his collaboration with fritz hansen. “it’s the simplest chair i know. it doesn’t want to be anything more than just a chair. and i love the shape, which is scintillating and has a woman’s sensual curves. so it was a great pleasure for me to choose the new colours for the chair. all the colours have one thing in common: they lie in between two colours and are constantly pulled in both directions; this gives the colours depth and the ability to conjure up mental images. to me, it’s important that every single colour has a story behind it that sparks associations. therefore, each of the nine colours that i’ve chosen for the series 7 chair has its own story and lets you see the chair in a new perspective.“
i was hosted in copenhagen on the #danishdesigntour by royal copenhagen, fritz hansen and dinesen. all views, & experiences are my own. photography by fritz hansen.