MYchair by UNStudio



Dutch architects UNStudio have unveiled their first chair design, called MYchair.


The chair is upholstered in two colours and was created for German manufacturers Walter Knoll.


Here's some more information from UN Studio:


MYchair, Walter Knoll, 2008

MYchair is the first chair designed by Ben van Berkel / UNStudio and is a real architect’s chair. The architectural approach to furniture is different from that of the industrial designer: the architect begins with the space and the environment that the chair will become a part of. All the details of the chair, besides needing to be comfortable and fulfilling the normal functional requirements of a piece of furniture, are considered for their spatial effects. And, as each architect has his or her own understanding of the sort of space that they aim to generate, this architectural approach to furniture is intrinsically connected with a very personal ideology of space.


In the case of Ben van Berkel / UNStudio this spatial awareness is connected to his idea of the ‘after image’. With this notion, Ben van Berkel refers to the capacity of three-dimensional objects to produce many different impressions when seen from different angles. These multiple views and continuously changing silhouettes result in a kaleidoscopic experience, achieved in the MYchair by the faceted arrangement of the soft elements, the inward and outward curves of the chrome frame and the duo-tones of the upholstering. All these elements are carefully orchestrated, which, in the theory of the architect, ultimately creates an ‘after image’ that is rich and stimulating, yet cohesive and balanced.


The way in which the idea of the after image is incorporated in the chair in such a unified manner is through the medium of reflection. Each detail is reflected in another. Thus, the facet shapes of the soft part of the chair are echoed in the curves of the frame supporting it; the bottom is reflected in the sides; and the room itself is reflected in the polished chrome of the support frame. Reflectiveness is also found in the details of the seat and the back support, which are arranged together to enable a variety of seating positions. In this way, legs tucked under, or turning sideways, the occupant of the chair engages in the spatial game envisaged by the architect, shifting positions and thereby shifting perspectives and images.


In the eighteen months or so that it took the architect to develop the design, many people passed the drawings and models of the chair dotted around the studio. Often, their response was, ‘I’d like to have that chair. When is it ready?’ The name MYchair reflects that response and its potential to appropriate, adapt, use and customize the chair in many ways, making it truly your own.

Client: Walter Knoll
Location: Herrenberg Germany
Sizes: height 800mm, depth 755mm, width 865 mm
Materials : Chromed steel bar frame. Foam seat upholstered with Trevira and Kvadrat fabrics or Walter Knoll leather

UNStudio: Ben van Berkel with Martijn Prins and Christian Bergmann, Arne Nielsen

Posted on Tuesday October 21st 2008 at 1:59 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • B

    it sort of proves to me that architects think in volumes and shapes..not as much in materials..yes ofcourse it is materialised, but it could have been any scale, any my opinion
    it could have been a building, it could have been a chair..could have been a treehouse…

  • Jurgen

    Well not all architects neglect to think in materials, although UNStudio obviously does. To be honest, I would’ve thought UNStudio would come up with a new typology, but this is just a chair!

  • xtiaan

    I know everyone from designers to tinkerers with lego and pipecleaner artistes feel they must cut their teeth by inflicting the world with another chair but come on

    “The way in which the idea of the after image is incorporated in the chair in such a unified manner is through the medium of reflection” yawn

    it sits on the floor and you park your arse in it, end of.

  • zuy
  • stan

    i would like to see someone actually using this chair…

  • db

    B, if you really believe that Architects think only in volumes and shapes and not so much in materials, maybe you should go and see Patricia Urquiola’s current porcelain exhibition at the Design Museum, London. I’m sure this would help to change your opinion.

  • Werner

    beautiful, beautiful! I first noticed the materials – crafted in a way that I think best accentuate the different personalities of these two materials. Perfect in balance (from any angle). You’re right B, I want to drive one!

  • Perfect! Perfect! Perfect!

    Just love the design and great colors! A+

  • B

    well db
    i saw the patricia urquiola show in milan, at least i think i dead,..all the prototypes and thing i saw that week
    but i think it sort of proves my point..patricia urquiola is a designer and an expert in materials…one of the best..but she is a designer and not an architect..
    architects are used o building small versions first, getting volumes and shapes right.
    I think the chair is a typical architects chair.

  • db

    B, that’s the point I’m trying to make. Unless I’m mistaken, Patricia Urquiola originally trained as an architect. So to suggest that architects (as a generalization) don’t have a grasp on materials is a bit naive i think.
    I’m not for one minute defending the chair above. I just thought I’d have my pennies worth.

  • g

    Since I’ve been in a ‘fact checking’ mode…

    per design boom

    patricia urquiola

    was born in 1961 in oviedo, spain. she studied architecture
    at the faculdad de arquitectura de madrid.
    after transferring to italy she graduated from the milan polytechnic
    in 1989 (with a thesis mentored by achille castiglioni).
    from 1990 to 1992 she assisted in the courses held by achille
    castiglioni and eugenio bettinelli, both at the milan polytechnic
    and at the ENSCI, paris.
    in 1991 she started working for the furniture company de padova
    in milan, heading the product development office, where she
    also designed her first furniture items (together with vico magistretti).
    between 1993 and 1996 she opened an associated studio with two
    friends, working on architecture, interiors, showrooms and restaurants.
    from 1996 to 2000 she became manager of the lissoni associati design
    group and in 2001 she opened her own studio in milan, focusing on
    product design, displays and architecture. she became best known
    through her many pieces for moroso. patricia has won many design
    awards and spoke at conferences and seminars in various
    international universities. her recent work includes projects for
    depadova, moroso, agape, B&B, alessi, driade, foscarini, kartell, flos,
    molteni, artelano, and others.

  • g

    eeesh, apologies for the formatting of that…

  • I liked the structure form but I would like to see how the seat will rest in it in the real world. In the 3d it´s floating.
    The seat looks much like an automobile seat. Looks confortable but not really beautiful.
    The problem with scale is clear. This form would be light and floating-like in an enormous building but the chair is much smaller than it looks in the 3D. The effect of lightness looses it´s power.

  • zuy

    most of italian designers are architects , it’s the same for spanish Urquiola but she is working mosty in design …
    The problem of design it is a smaller market than architecture and fashion markets.

  • zuy
  • kev

    are those pix bad photographes or bad 3d pix ?

  • McGyver

    is it real or a rendered?

  • Mac

    Nobody noticed the fixing of the seat to its legs, it almost converges into a point… Very nicely done!

  • B

    ok, she studied architecture,..but she is making more furniture than buildings…sounds like a designer to me.
    its not what you studied, its what you do.
    but to make it even more complicated:
    I think Rietveld was a furniture maker with an architect mind set,..and eames did have a designer mind even though he built several houses.
    i am not saying architects should not do chairs, and designers should not do buildings…I am just saying it shows what type of mind, approach or background you have .. the chair above for me is an example of a chair designed by an achitect (mind)

  • db

    B, you are correct. The above chair is an example of a chair designed by an architect, but then, Chair 65 by Aalto is an example of a chair designed by an architect as is Prouve’s Anthony chair. Regardless of what she most commonly does, Urquiola’s Bergère chair at De Padova is a chair designed by a mind that started out practicing architecture. If you are familiar with the three mentioned chairs, I’m sure you would agree that they all have very different qualities.
    I still think your suggestion that architects do not have the ability to think intelligently about materials on a furniture scale is naive.

  • zuy

    a chair is not only a small architecture…. … what is that chair for?

  • R planuscus

    Is a render!!!

  • Definitely a rendering.
    Let’s see what it looks like when it’s real. No stitch details on upholstery, the connections are not impossible, but not probable. It seems unfinished and appears as if it hasn’t yet been worked through in physical models/prototypes.

    Nice drawing though.

  • Werner

    Well Zuy, to answer that question I have to quote Xtiaan on a very intelligent answer: “it sits on the floor and you park your arse in it, end of.”

    that’s all ….

  • B

    the problem with writing short comments on blogs it that it the real world is much more complicated.
    there is a lot in between the architectural approach and the designer approach that is functions perfectly well as a way to create stuff. a good architect has some material sense and a good designer has some sense about volumes and spaces etc.
    the best architects and designers are good on both yes..aalto can make chairs,..pretty ones too.
    and prouve is a maser in details and one might even consider him an industrial designer that makes good buildings…(and chairs)
    so db,..for every statement made there can be found evidence for the opposit..but since i try to keep comments short..they are more blunt than my actual opinion;-) (therefore maybe sound naive.)

  • “it sits on the floor and you park your arse in it, end of.” ???
    If I was Mr. Spock I would say it is that simple. But the human being is not as logical as they think they are. Or we seat in simple boxes at our homes? I don´t think so.
    We do look for something more in a chair, or a table or anything we buy for ourselves.
    That´s why a designer is needed.
    Two chairs serves the same way but they will sell diferently depending on design.

  • zuy

    theo, its a nice drawing, a small architecture as i said previously but design is much more than a shape of a chair or of a lounge

  • zuy

    in fact the drawing of the seat is near Jean Prouvé’s lounge….

  • soudabeh

    i am student of interior design i liked your web site

  • zuy

    @ soudabeh
    students , designers and users should embrace an open attitude , make full use of posts +positive + negative comments…and give here their personnal analysis or vision about projects or products

  • One

    This is a large lounge chair, for one person. I would rather feel being proud of being watched, rather than being completly relaxed.