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news - IKEA store

PE308221

news APRIL 2012

Designing an identity

PREBEN chair

“Why make another chair if it’s already

there?” asks designer Christina Halskov.

That’s part of the philosophy behind the

new PREBEN chair, created by Christina

and design partner Hanne Dalsgaard, who

worked to give PREBEN its own personality

and design identity. With its welcoming

upholstered seat made from a lineninspired

material blend and its distinct

beech and steel legs, PREBEN certainly

has a strong identity. Add in a surprising

little secret – it assembles without screws

– and PREBEN becomes even more attractive

and intriguing.

“I think PREBEN has a warmth and its

own character,” Christina says, “and you

can place it on its own eventhough the intention

is to place it around the table and

have guests take a seat.”

Modern, international, spacious – these

were several words the design duo were

given to consider. “We wanted the chair to

have a spacious appearance without taking

up too much space in the home or with

packaging,” Christina says. “We couldn’t

just make a really big, nice chair.” The

chair’s size was of course influenced by the

size of pallets, too. And though PREBEN

was meant to be a dining chair, it shouldn’t

be confined to a kitchen or dining room.

Its color and style needed to fit smoothly

into living areas, too. Christina says they

also considered ‘stoflighed,’ a Danish word

that roughly means texture, materiality

and physicality. Essentially, PREBEN

should be the kind of chair you want to

touch and examine in order to figure out

its materials.

Though Christina and Hanne have been

working together for more than 20 years,

designing for IKEA always involves teamwork

beyond designers themselves. For

instance, at one point they changed the

design that angled the two back legs for

stability. But this complicated the assembly.

Inspired by the metal frame on the

wooden legs and challenged to make assembly

easier, an IKEA product technician

came up with an inventive solution that

reduced the 16 required screws to zero

and left only six total parts in the package

(seat, metal frame, legs). Each leg was

given a rounded end, instead of flat, so

they could stand at any angle.

With all four legs now the same, there

still needed to be stability. That’s why the

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