MR01 Initial Chair
Originally designed for his own home as a lounge chair he could also use for meditation, the MR01 Initial Chair by woodworker Mathias Steen Rasmussen unites traditional craftsmanship with original ideas in a simple form that is at once familiar and yet strikingly modern.
Much like the Danish masters, Rasmussen thinks with his hands – drawing sketches and building prototypes. The idea for this chair began with its seat, which extends into the back leg, providing support for the backrest. Its low-slung, gentle incline is designed to give the sitter a sense of floating, while still feeling connected to the ground, promoting a contemplative sense of calm – and was originally designed for his own home as a lounge chair he could also use for meditation.
Rasmussen’s deep understanding of the characteristics and potential of wood can be seen in the way the visible end-grain and directional grain of the wood are utilized to emphasize the geometry of the form. Because the wedged tenon joints go right through the frame, there is no left or right side before the chair is assembled, and four out its five cross bars are identical, simplifying construction and reducing waste. The chair will acquire a pleasing patina as it ages, giving it a sustainability that the designer was keen to cultivate.
The addition of rope is characteristic of Rasmussen, who often pairs complementary organic materials with wood, creating an aesthetic dialogue and co-relation between the two. In this case, the seat and backrest are hand-woven from 90 meters of rope, using a method he developed himself, which locks the rope into the frame. The rope adds a lightness and transparency, both literally and visually, that elevates the chair’s classic shape, making it feel fresh and relevant.