The precise transparency of the Trinidad chair almost dissolves in a play of light and shadow, yet at the same time gives the chair a strikingly bold voice.
The chair without arms is stackable and comes with optional seat upholstery. With Trinidad, Nanna Ditzel turned the modernist mantra of material reduction against its original intent. The cutout fretwork from the curved shell back not only lightens the visual density of the chair, but it also functions as a decorative element. Utilising new CNC technology, the Trinidad was heralded as a a breakthrough when presented in 1993.
Designing the Trinidad, Nanna Ditzel found inspiration in the elaborate fretwork from the so-called Gingerbread Facades, that she had often seen whilst on a holiday in the Caribbean Island of Trinidad.
“On Trinidad I saw how the facades of the houses nearly dissolves in light and shadow – almost like a lace – and I thought to myself: How can I use this for a chair?”
Like a Gingerbread facade, the Trinidad Chair gently plays with the sunlight, creating a sense of motion in the space. The lightweight design embraces the body and is designed to suit not only the setting, but also the person that sits on it.
The screen-shaped shells ensure formidable seating comfort for hours, and the sliced through seat and back compensates for a range of features that are normally impossible in plywood shell furniture: The body is always ventilated and the chair is always kept at room temperature, as well as providing excellent acoustics for an area where sound resonance should be reduced. This has made Trinidad a popular chair for concert halls and auditoriums, as well as private homes.
Quite remarkably the Trinidad chair was an immediate success for both private and public use when launched in 1993, where it remains so today, and has achieved the status of a modern classic and post-modern milestone in the history of plywood chairs.
Made in Denmark
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Nanna Ditzel (1923-2005), with her postmodernism attitude and rebellion against tradition, became a leading figure in the renewal of Danish design in the 1990's, well after her 70th birthday. Very often, her works had a subjective starting point, which was contrary to specific problems to be solved. However, she had a magnificent ability to transform her artistic dreams into very functional and purposeful designs.
Meeting Nanna Ditzel in person led to an irresistible urge to put her furniture in your home. In part due to her unparalleled innovative talent, but also in hopes that her personality would have had a contagious effect on your rooms. At an age when most other people have long since retired, the grand old lady of modern design continued to attract worldwide attention and she welcomed the inspiration that came from new materials and production methods.
Nanna Ditzel was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1923. She trained as a cabinetmaker before going on to study at the School of Arts and Crafts and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. She was always inspired by the challenges of new materials and techniques, and in the 50's she experimented with split-level floor seating. Nanna was a pioneer in the fields of fiberglass, wickerwork and foam rubber, and in various disciplines such as cabinet making, jewellery, tableware, and textiles. Nanna Ditzel designed the world’s most renowned furniture textile "Hallingdal" for Kvadrat.
From 1968 to 1986, Nanna lived in London where she established the international furniture house, Interspace, in Hampstead. In 1989 she became closely connected with Fredericia, beginning with "Bench For Two". The collaboration between Fredericia and Ditzel developed into a mutual partnership and the successful launch of the Trinidad chair in 1993 marked a turning point in Fredericia's history, establishing Nanna Ditzel as Fredericia's second house designer after Børge Mogensen. Nanna passed away in 2005, but her uncompromising approach remains a strong influence on Fredericia’s culture and product development.
For Ditzel, the aesthetics of the chair were just as important as function, citing, “It is very important to take into account the way a chair’s appearance combines with the person who sits in it. Some chairs look like crutches. And I don't like them at all.”
Nanna Ditzel was one of most renowned Danish designers, and throughout her life she was awarded numerous prizes including; in 1990, the Gold Medal in the International Furniture Design Competition, Japan, for “Bench for Two”, the ID-prize 1995 for “Trinidad”, which is Denmark’s highest design honour. She was Elected Honourable Royal Designer at Royal Society of Arts in London in 1996 and awarded the lifelong Artists' Grant by the Danish Ministry of Culture in 1998.