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Tolix throws an all-star birthday party for its most iconic design

Simply said, Chaise A is an icon of modern design. The chair’s galvanized sheet metal frame was perfected and democratized by pioneer Xavier Pauchard and first marketed by his company Tolix in 1935. Despite inevitable rises and falls in popularity, its lightweight, stackable structure has remained relevant for eight decades, and Chaise A can be found in the collections of the MoMA, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Vitra Design Museum and more.

To celebrate 80 fabulous years of the Chaise A, Tolix decided to throw the ultimate birthday party with an impressive guest list. Eight designers, each with their own distinct style, were invited to examine and rethink the chair: Konstantin Grcic, Lex Pott, Bethan Laura Wood, Sebastian Herkner, Formafantasma, Julien Ceder, Giluio Ridolfo and Julie Richoz. The challenge resulted in eight remarkably unique interpretations of an industrially produced design. Ranging from an almost unrecognizable deconstruction by Konstantin Grcic to a veritable handcrafted work of art by Bethan Laura Wood, each version offers something different, new and exciting.

To culminate the celebration, Tolix will be presenting all eight redesigns at an exhibition called “Face to Face” which will take place at Persona Grata in Paris from September 4th to 27th.


Studio Formafantasma chose not to alter the design but rather to use it as part of a balancing act that creates an equilibrium between the chair and a piece of metal of the same weight. Modern and minimal, this version gives the public insight into the production process of the chair and its intelligent use of the material.


German designer Sebastian Herkner decided to inject the Chaise A’s industrial aesthetic with a touch of handcrafting. Colored leather laces are woven through the perforated sheet metal, making reference to his home town of Offenbach (the German center for handcrafted leather) as well as colonial rattan seats.


A detail of Sebastian Herkner’s interpretation.


Julie Richoz is a Swiss-French designer and the youngest participant. She brought out all of the invisible details and unseen volume of the chair by hand-painting it in a bright pallet of colors.


British designer Bethan Laura Wood drew her inspiration from strong women, notably Elizabeth I of English and Maria from Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis. The perforated metal is decorated with small leather disks that are held in place with metal rivets for an interpretation that is at once feminine and industrial.