Only icons can make it

Posted on February 6. 2018



Only icons can make it

We’ve always been proud of our first and most famous chair, the Variable balans by Peter Opsvik. It’s been around for almost 40 years, and many people remember it from their childhood or even their grandparent’s homes. But recently, we noticed that the kneeling chair is trending again among young creatives and interior enthusiasts. 

Here’s why:

1. It's instantly recognizable

If you think about the classic criteria for a chair, it would probably include four legs and a backrest. The Variable doesn’t have either, and that’s what makes it so iconic. With its easy curves and organic shape, it stands out as the most.

Nessa K, photographer based in Baltimore, Maryland, mentions the Variable "is the only thing that keeps me from crossing my legs into a pretzel when I sit."

2. Super functional, yet truly beautiful

The tilted runners and knee pads make the Variable super functional, yet not overloaded with design gimmicks. Opsvik created a minimalistic chair that lets you sit, tilt, and kneel all at the same time. This unique combination of functionality and design revolutionized how people thought about movement sitting.

Monica Strand inspires over 17k followers on Instagram with her black and white interior in Norway. 

3. Lasts forever thanks to the top-notch material

A chair that allows for continuous movement has a different standard than a conventional chair. In order to produce chairs that endure various pressures, impeccable quality is our first priority. We work with highly sustainable material from certified European suppliers. Our chairs are regularly tested, ensuring they can tolerate everyday use for many years.

Textile designer, Silvia Stella, keeps active in her studio in Milan. 

4. It’s survived decades... and decades of trends.

The Variable balans has a distinctive visual form that is not dependant on short-term trends. Over the last decades, the colours of the wood and fabrics changed according to the fashion of that particular time. But the timeless shape of the chair has always remained the same.

Visual artist, Jon Gorospe, based in Norway: “My mother used to call me culo inquieto, which basically translates to “restless ass”. I could never sit still. Now I don’t have to.”

5. It’s the original.

The kneeling concept has been replicated, but none compare to the quality, functionality and aesthetics of the Variable. The original kneeling chair stands for the story of an innovative pioneer who dared to create a chair with no legs or back rest. It’s the proof that an unconventional design can become an icon, despite the constant changes in furniture trends. And it’s the testimony of carefully selected materials, crafted into chairs that will last for decades. Just try it. You will know it’s an original when you see it. 

Related Posts

Ekstrem in the spotlight at Oslo Design Fair

In a future where less is more and quality trumps quantity, the look and feel of the items we surround ourselves with becomes more vital tha...

The magic tool

Movement at work is vital for everyone who works with their hands. See how a fibre artist from Athens uses the Variable balans in her worksh...

The Next Position: The Chairs of Peter Opsvik

When a few of our chairs popped up in the trendy architecture and design magazine, PIN-UP, based in New York this year, we decided to dedica...