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Originally designed for his own home as a lounge chair he could also use for meditation, the MR01 InitialChair by woodworker Mathias Steen Rasmussen unites traditional craftsmanship with original ideas in a simple form that is at once familiar and yet strikingly modern.
“In many ways, it seems as if you might have seen this chair before, but it is an evolutionary interpretation and development of Danish furniture traditions. It is completely its own, very honest and not pretending to be anything else – it just is.”
JACOB GUBI, OWNER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF GUBI
Much like the Danish masters, Rasmussen thinks with his hands – drawing sketches and building prototypes. The idea for this chair began with its seat, which extends into the back leg, providing support for the backrest. Its low-slung, gentle incline is designed to give the sitter a sense of floating, while still feeling connected to the ground, promoting a contemplative sense of calm – and was originally designed for his own home as a lounge chair he could also use for meditation.
Constructed without a single nail
Rasmussen’s deep understanding of the characteristics and potential of wood can be seen in the way the visible end-grain and directional grain of the wood are utilized to emphasize the geometry of the form. Because the wedged tenon joints go right through the frame, there is no left or right side before the chair is assembled, and four out its five cross bars are identical, simplifying construction and reducing waste. The chair will acquire a pleasing patina as it ages, giving it a sustainability that the designer was keen to cultivate.
90 meters of rope
The addition of rope is characteristic of Rasmussen, who often pairs complementary organic materials with wood, creating an aesthetic dialogue and co-relation between the two. In this case, the seat and backrest are hand-woven from 90 meters of rope, using a method he developed himself, which locks the rope into the frame. The rope adds a lightness and transparency, both literally and visually, that elevates the chair’s classic shape, making it feel fresh and relevant.
Leadtime: 12 weeks - please enquire at firstname.lastname@example.org, we ask for a 50% deposit upfront and the remainder prior to delivery.
Finish: Oak or American Walnut
Material: Frame: Walnut or oak finished with oil
Rope: Natural linen with semi-elastic anti-deformation core
Pillow: Fabric bouclé wool and viscose (Karakorum Duna 003 from Dedar), feather filled.
Backrest height: 55 cm / 21.6 inches
Backrest width: 60 cm / 23.6 inches
Total depth (frame): 88 cm / 34.6 inches
Seat depth: 55 cm / 21.6 inches
Seat height: 33 cm / 12.9 inches
Total frame size: 88x65x69 cm / 34.6x25.5x27.1 inches
Pillow: 60x23x12 cm / 23.6x9x4.7 inches
Mathias Steen Rasmussen (born 1990) is a young Danish designer with a seasoned and rigorous approach to furniture design. He has a background in art and cabinetmaking and completed his apprenticeship in 2019 with the highest honours.
When working on his own designs, his philosophy is “honesty in construction”. This means keeping the design process open to what an object consists of and how it is constructed, often with an affinity for showcasing the naked grain of the wood and visible joints.
As a trained cabinetmaker, wood is usually Rasmussen’s point of departure. He often brings in other natural materials such as glass, stone, and rope as textural contrasts, resulting in an aesthetic dialogue between colours, techniques, and surfaces. With an earnest respect for his materials and a keen sense of balance in form and function, his work respectfully nods to mid-century Danish design.