Ever felt your interior could look more artistic? There’s a piece of furniture that’s as functional as it’s creative – the sculptural chair. Crafted out of acrylic, bamboo, corrugated cardboard, wicker cane or wood, these chairs are designed – by famed designers across the globe – to surprise and delight your senses. As concepts in exhibitions or working prototypes, many of these chairs are not for sale – but don’t let that hinder their intent for inspiration. See how stretched ash wood can wrap around a person’s frame. Imagine turning the pages on 220 blueberry-shaped balls. Imagine interior style differently, with our top 50 list of innovative, sculptural chairs.
Peacock L Chair: Let your inner peacock shine. These chairs, first designed in 2011, create drama and effect in stretched acrylic composite. Take a pretty seat upon them to satisfy your inner king or queen.
Peacock S Chair: Looking for your little princess? These coloured versions, stretched a little less in size, form a kid’s chair all the neighbours will envy.
Platner Chair: Complement your interior with a classic. Designed in 1962 by design great Warren Platner, this chair shows steel wire innovation, with as many as 1,000 welds per piece. Finished in bright nickel or 18-carat plated gold, choose a cover in knoll velvet, boucle or leather – or find cheaper replicas here.
Sunflower Chair: Build a veritable library around your chair. This circular seat lets you pick a book from every angle.
Designer: Marc Venot
Quetzal Chair: Love pillows? Surround yourself with 14. Named after the glorious Central American quetzal, French designer Marc Venot changes the colour of its feathers – or pillows – by simply turning them over.
Designer: Nina Bruun
Nest Chair: Create a human nest. Inspired by the world’s chaos, Nina Bruun’s birch straps fold under and around a comfy seat in the centre.
Designer: Carl Durkow
Narl Chair: Want your feet to touch the ground? Don’t buy this chair. Developed to take us back to a childhood state, this polystyrene foam and wool felt creation was a NYCxDesign student award winner.
Manta Chair: Stretch out and relax. Named after the manta ray, this seat sits you not quite straight, not quite fully down.
Designer: Jakob Jørgensen
Barca Lounge Chair: Fall into Thumbelina’s modern-day cradle. Made from oak, plastic and metal, this seat curves around your form like a wooden leaf, folding down to a flat-pack when it comes time to move.
Designer: Bae Se-hwa
Steam 11 Chair: Bent through an innovative use of steam, South Korean designer Bae Se-hwa makes his seats out of walnut. This chair’s prismatic lines symbolise the push and pull between man and environment.
Designer: Branca Lisboa
Shell Chair: Want a shell in birch plywood? This stylish design comes with four natural cotton or leather cushions. Get it for your interior here.
Designer: Robert Van Embricqs
Rising Chair: Up, up and away! Handmade, numbered and signed, this stunning piece lifts to form a chair, folding back down afterwards to a slatted mat.
Designer: Marc Newson
Wood Chair: Originally designed for an Australian crafts council, this slatted beech wood chair is as much focal design piece as it is ‘double-curved’ seat. Place it beside a window to watch the light stream through.
Designer: AE Superlab
Diwani Chair: Want a rocking chair that doesn’t look old? Inspired by Arabic Diwani calligraphic script, this chair of the same name cradles your form in natural white birch or plywood.
Pipa Chair: 26 sections of laminated banak wood create this seemingly one-piece chair. Pick it up for your living room in eight different shades.
Designer: Alexander White
Monroe Chair: Even chairs try to mimic Marilyn Monroe. 83 components swivel on a single axis, replicating Monroe’s classic pose over a New York City subway.
Designer: Velichko Velikov
Evolve Chair: Almost a prototype, this chair literally bends over backwards to accommodate your form.
Saji Chair: Think wood couldn’t form a teardrop? Think again. Bent ash veneer sits on black-painted steel, creating a feature chair that works by itself or behind a dining table.
Carnaval Chair: Encapsulate Carnaval. This chair’s ‘warm and festive spirit’ results in one smooth curve and a seat of fabric cords.
Designer: Stéphane Leathead
Exocet Chair: Twist and turn it any way you please. Rotating on a central axis, this chair lets you lie down and sit in a variety of poses. Available in white oak, cherry, walnut, maple and Mozambique.
Yumi Chair: Create your own cocoon. This chair in ash wood and steel encloses your senses and builds a safe haven.
Designer: Joseph Walsh
Enignum III Chair: Base your back on a seat of satin. Stripped olive ash wood mingles with copper and silk, creating a seating option that screams artistic masterpiece.
Wiggle Side Chair: Designed by famed architect Frank Gehry, this corrugated cardboard chair wriggles under your backside.
Designer: Ventury Labs
Sculpture Carbon Chair: Want it in black? Get something similar to Gehry’s, with this ribbon-bottomed chair made of textured carbon.
Designer: Jolyon Yates
Savannah Rocker III: Another rocking chair in a contemporary design, this birch-clad and satin-lacquered piece works well in a Scandinavian interior.
Designer: Kamil Kurka
Moebius Chair: Available in wood and white or mint green and silver, this innovative pod is supported by its ‘X’ in front.
Designer: Made In Ratio
Cowrie Chair: Able to rock a child or stand still, these unique chairs by Australian designer Brodie Neill were inspired by the beached seashells that adorned his childhood. Pick one up in light or dark wood, or black.
Designer: Simone Cappellanti
Calla Chair: Love calla lilies? Buy a chair that pays homage, with these beautiful seats in a range of modern shades.
Designer: Tejo Remy and René Veenhuizen
Bamboo Chair: Re-live your South-East Asian holiday with a chair in bamboo. This sturdy and environmentally-friendly medium can stretch its form to many ideas, such as this easy-to-build and easy-to-collapse sculptural phenomenon.
Designer: Alexander Christoff
Active Sitting Chair With Gymnastic Ball: Why not be ergonomic, while you’re at it? This elegant, high-backed chair features a red-upholstered gym ball as its seat. Your posture will thank you later.
Globe Chair: Take two work desks out of your chair. Italian designer Paolo Nava created them out of solid cedar, finishing them off by hand.
Designer: Finn Stone
Source: Made In Design
Ball Chair: Want a chair that’s a bit more durable? Made in ABS plastic, these cute pods come in many different colours, and work indoors or out. Their highly-lacquered finishes ensure no bumps or scratches.
Designer: Lina Bo Bardi
Bowl Chair: Sometimes, nothing can beat a bowl. These handcrafted chairs are limited to a run of 500, and come in your choice of black leather or seven different-coloured fabrics.
Q1 Lounge Chair: Be shockingly geometric. This white chair carries the angles of a diamond and the cushioning of a couch.
Designer: Carlo Colombo
Blueberry Chair: Lie in luxury on a bed of blueberries. 220 balls of crush-proof polyurethane create several layers of comfort, while a wooden structure lifts it up inside scratch-proof ABS. Buy it for yourself in white and red, or full black.
Black Line Chair: Go back to basics. Showcased in London’s Saatchi Gallery, this minimalist find mimics sketches on a notepad, and turns them 3D. Its simple lines give weight and volume to the spaces in-between.
Designer: Kenneth Cobonpue
Yoda Chair: Rattan, nylon and steel comprise this original seat, an almost-tribal design which brings the garden inside.
Designer: Philipp Aduatz
Spoon Chair: Philipp Aduatz used polymer and car paint to create this over-sized spoon, a technical marvel inspired by the contours of a leaf.
Seniora Fork Chair: Prefer forks? Get yours in wood and seat them around a dinner table, with these bold pieces from Mexican designer Ignacio Ruiz.
Designer: Alexander Nettesheim
Auslaufmodel: Black, white and minimalist, these simple pod chairs would look a treat in an office.
Designer: Maximo Riera
Octopus Chair: Looking for the latest addition to your octopus decor? Designer Maximo Riera carves chairs out of animals, and this quilted octopus is no exception. Check out his collection to see more walruses, rhinos, hippos, elephants, beetles and buffaloes.
Designer: Jean-Pierre Martz
Tube Chair: Like the look of tubes? Make a chair in their shape. These finds come with outers in light wood or acrylic, and a variety of coloured cushions sold as their centre.
Designer: Natalie Musorina
Torsion Chair: Buy a chair that’s both beautiful and practical. This white rocking chair won Silver in the A’Design Awards for its innovative plywood and fabric-thread form. Its nifty 7kg base can hold up to 15 times its weight.
Designer: Hans Wegner
Circle Chair: Buying for the beach house? Made in oak or ash, these accent chairs designed by a 72-year-old man are covered with vegetable-tanned leather, which creates its own hue from its time in the sun.
Source: The Family Love Tree
Love Chair: Want a peacock-themed decor piece that’s a bit less obvious? Available in black, white or brown, its splayed back is the perfect setting for your sweetheart.
Designer: Benjamin Hubert
Cradle Chair: Love the feel of hammocks, but not their look? These chairs have the best of both worlds, with a back in polyester and a seat in wood and powder-coated steel.
Panton S Chair: It wouldn’t be a list of the world’s best chairs without the Panton S. Injection-molded polypropylene creates one long-line form that’s stood the test of time.
Little Perillo Chair: Like the form, but not the matter? These understated seats come in your choice of fabric or acrylic tops, wooden or metal legging.
Neva Chair: Classic designs can be the longest running. The simple contours of this wooden chair can befriend any interior.
Genny Armchair: Ash wood creates an airy frame worthy of any household. Choose your seat’s covering to make this flexible design your own.
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