The leading lady of Danish design Nanna Ditzel, is one of our favorite designers here at The Empty Apartment. We've come across several of her pieces as finds, written about her life and ideas and always look for an opportunity to collect and celebrate her work. During this year's edition of ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) in NYC, we were very excited to see the Basket Chair by Nanna and Jørgen Ditzel exhibited by the furniture company KETTAL.
The Basket Chair was originally made out of oak and handwoven wicker and intended for indoor use. The chair was exhibited at the Cabinet Makers Guild Exhibition in Copenhagen and at the Milan Triennale in 1951. The chair's shape comes from a basket placed on a wooden frame. Natural wicker will slowly discolor and tarnish over the years with use. Wicker can be delicate and crack in extreme weather or if placed directly in the sunlight. The vintage versions of the Basket Chair are rare to find in good condition. An original chair is a collector's item in Danish design.
The edited version of the Basket Chair by KETTAL is made out of artificial fiber and teak and is intended for indoor and outdoor use. The new version of the Basket chair was approved of by the official Nanna Ditzel Design office and the chair comes with an official metallic label. This new version will be different from the original. I doubt the color of the chair will ever change from its first day. Today's artificial materials, plastics, and resins take ten times longer to build a patina.
This clip below produced by KETTAL is an expression on the history and the re-edition of the chair from the perspective of the official Nanna Ditzel Design office. Nanna Ditzel was forward in her thinking, seeking new materials and forms so we question if she would have agreed to produce this version of the Basket Chair.
Here at The Empty Apartment, we worry that the material might not be as environmentally friendly as the original version of the chair. We also believe that good quality has a natural lifespan. A furniture piece does not need to last an eternity as does plastic if not recycled. Not that we are opposed to reproductions at all, in fact, we've used many of them in interior design projects because they can be of such great quality and preserve a historical context. Our concern is more towards the materiality of the chair.
What do you think? Can you tell the difference of materials in the chairs, let us know your thoughts.