FURNITURE 101: Arne Jacobsen’s Swan Chair


Initially designed for the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, Arne Jacobsen’s “Swan Chair” has become synonymous with Modernist interior design. Maybe you’ve spun around in one of these at NCSU’s Hunt Library or in the lobby of the NC Museum of Art, but did you know that spinning mechanism was intentionally designed to enable you to interact with the space, people, and architecture around you?

Arne Jacobsen was born in 1902 to a mother who painted and a father who sold wholesale upholstery and fabric fasteners so he was surely destined to be a creative. Travelling to Germany to learn from Bauhaus designers such as Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe, Arne also built homes and commercial spaces, painted wallcoverings, and basically put Denmark on the map with regards to International Style (a term characterized by its seamless functionality across all national borders and its departure from culturally motivated aesthetics).


During the 1960s “Danish Modern” designers such as Arne became known throughout the world for their thoroughly sculptural furnishings and the Swan Chair was licensed to manufacturer Fritz Hansen who still creates the Swan today. Sold in a loveseat form as well and often seen alongside Jacobsen’s “Egg Chair”, you can buy your Modernist Masterpiece locally at Palette and Parlor in Chapel Hill. While you’re there, take a load off in his lesser known “Drop Chair” which comes in an array of colors including a very RED red!

PS: What happens when 19 world renowned designers are asked to “reimagine” the Swan for charity? THIS