Julien Berthier has taken an icon of 20th-century Dutch furniture design and turned it into something so squiggly, lopsided, and weird, it looks like he designed it with his left hand. Which, of course, he did.
Berthier, a French designer, then gave his drawings to a carpenter, who built five identical chairs to spec.
Obviously, Berthier’s chairs are dripping with irony. The de Stijl movement fetishized geometry and order as an antidote to the chaos of World War I. Berthier’s chairs conjure up the opposite imagery; they might as well have been bombed with mustard gas.
Expect to see more cheeky takes on Rietveld in coming months. The Dutch design community has proclaimed 2010 the official year of Rietveld. Celebrations are underway in Holland and include exhibits, talks, tours, an iPhone app, and even Rietveld krentenbollen (currant buns). Stay tuned for Co.Design’s complete coverage.