The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitweld.
Design

The Zig-Zag Chair

If you have been reading my Design section you know how much I love the Form vs. Function debate. At various stages of life I find myself identify with different sides. During my B.Arch days I was staunchly on team “Function”,  but post Industrial Design education and few years of work in the field seems to be gradually pulling me into team “Form”. So today I want to write about one more piece of furniture which further fuels this debate- The Zig-Zag Chair by Gerrit Rietveld. 

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitweld.

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitveld | Image Credit: Cassina

Designed in the  1930s by the Dutch architect & designer Gerrit Rietveld, the Zig-Zag chair was, in his own words, a designer joke! It is his interpretation of the “De Stijl” movement and has a  permanent spot at the Museum of Modern Art. It was made for the Schroder House in Utrech, Holland and is an example Modernist design principles.

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitweld.

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitveld | Image Credit: Jorg Uitz

Made of natural cherry wood. The chair comprises of just four elements joined with dovetail joints and fixed with brass nuts and bolts through triangular corner blocks. Rietveld was said to be aware of the discrepancy between the simple shape and the relatively complicated construction and said himself, it is not a chair but a “designer joke.”  Goal of the design was to create a functional form which does not displace space but allows it to be perceived in continuance.

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitweld.

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitveld | Image Credit: Cassina

It was originally sold by the Dutch store Metz & Co. “Zig-Zag” today is produced by the Cassina Company which bought the rights to manufacture all of Rietveld’s furniture designs in 1971. Since, the Zig-Zag has been interpreted by other designers in various ways.

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitweld.

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitweld | Image Credit: Cassina

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The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitveld | Image Credit: Cassina

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The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitveld | Image Credit: Cassina

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The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitveld | Image Credit: Cassina

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The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitveld | Image Credit: Cassina

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitweld

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitveld | Image Credit

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitweld

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitveld | Image Credit: Designfelt

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitweld

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitveld | Image Credit: PotoBucket

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitweld

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitveld | Image Credit

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitweld

The Zig Zag Chair by Gerrit Reitweld | Image Credit: Cassina

Closing Thoughts:

Looks so simple but is so complicated to construct, yet Reitveld still managed to achieve his goal of a minimalist form without compromising the the function of a chair i.e stability and comfort.

What do you think about the Zig Zag and its story? Let me know in the comments.

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5 thoughts on “The Zig-Zag Chair

  1. Hi! What a stylish blog! You commented on my blog in Community pool and I finally found the time to come and take a good look at your blog. Everything looks neat and the photos are good and fresh. Texts are easy to read and short/long enough. Keep up the good work! There are so many random blogs that are of a bad quality, so it is really nice to see a good blog, for a change. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Ms Plainspoken, I thought I had already followed your blog but turned out I hadn’t!! Another interesting take on a chair. I love form AND function, can they not co-exist? Didn’t realise that the Dutch are also leading chair designers. Will check that out when I go Amsterdam next year😋

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jolene, I remember you from our interaction at the community pool ! Thanks for stopping by at the blog … I appreciate your point of view on the design section. I guess you know how much I love the Form vs Function discussion – I am still trying to find the answer to your question .. hopefully someday I will find my spot between the two! And I look forward to your finds from Amsterdam.

      Like

      • 😊 My pleasure, I do love your design insights. You have a keen eye for it. I tend to think that the Scandinavians have the form & function balance pretty much nailed down. Me too, I’m sooo looking forward to Europe again!

        Liked by 1 person

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