Reinterpreting classics: Thonet cantilever chairs from Muji

Muji manufactured by Thonet Collection  (Source: Thonet)

Muji manufactured by Thonet Collection (Source: Thonet)

At the Tokyo Design Week the German furniture producer Thonet presented their classic cantilever chair in a new light. In co-operation with the Japanese retailer Muji, Thonet  – the self-styled “world’s oldest furniture brand”  – presented a new interpretation of the classic Bugholzstühle (chairs created from wood formed through the application of steam to aid the bending and shaping. The process was developed by Michael Thonet. The official Thonet translation of Bugholz is “bentwood”, however, does not do the beauty of the process justice) and steel tube construction from Matt Stam and Marcel Breuer. Target group for the new products is the 18-35 year olds; or those who still feel the tingle of youth when such aproduct is placed before them.

S 43 Classic by Mart Stam from Thonet

S 43 Classic by Mart Stam from Thonet

The steel tube cantilever chair in Bauhaus tradition was re-designed by the German designer Konstantin Grcic.  His new, simplified design may not meet the approval of all fans of Stam and Breuer’s original, but one can still clearly see the classic form. The “Muji manfactured by Thonet Collection” will be available in Europe from Spring 2009 in selected Muji stores. However, if you prefer the original S 43 or B108 from Thonet they can be ordered any time, day or night from

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