Stacking Chairs

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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One of the most successful modern designs for stacking chairs belongs to the Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen. Starting in 1951, Jacobsen produced a series of chairs named the Ant chairs for a client's restaurant. Although only 300 original Ant chairs were ordered, they have remained in production almost constantly since, and gone through many design iterations.

Arne Jacobsen's Stacking Chairs

In fact, the original design for the Ant stacking chairs featured a three-legged design that reduced the components of the chair to only those that were necessary for stability. By doing so, Jacobsen sought to reduce clutter and allow users of the chair to stack and arrange the chairs with a greater degree of ease. Though the three-legged design is still available, the four-legged design proved to be to most popular and some became the official design of the Ant chair.

In 1955, Jacobsen collaborated with a medical doctor to produce a line of stacking chairs that had increased lumbar and upper back support. To fully accommodate medical and ergonomic concerns, Jacobsen designed the chair in three seat heights. Like the Ant, the Stacking Chair 3103 and 3123 was made of molded plywood on a tubular steel frame.

Jacobsen continued to explore the stacking chair with many different variations. A more angular variation on the earlier chairs won the Grand Prix award in 1957 at the XI Triennial in Milan. Twelve years later, the Stacking Chair 3108, which featured armrests and a choice of materials or upholstery, was introduced.


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