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  • 10.20.10

Right-Handed Designer Reinterprets Rietveld’s Most Famous Chair … Left-Handed

A messy take on an orderly icon

Right-Handed Designer Reinterprets Rietveld’s Most Famous Chair … Left-Handed

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.

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The Left-handed Rietveld Chair is based on right-handed Berthier’s southpaw drawings of Gerrit Rietveld‘s Red and Blue Chair, one of the most widely recognized artifacts of the de Stijl movement.

Berthier, a French designer, then gave his drawings to a carpenter, who built five identical chairs to spec.

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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.

[Images via Julien Berthier]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.

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