Minuscule Chair by Cecilie Manz

For this week’s Deconstruction, Danish designer Cecilie Manz shares numerous sketches of her new chair for Fritz Hansen, the Minuscule, which won the 2012 ICFF Editor Award in New York City this week. The name Minuscule represents the informal and understated style for which the Scandinavians are known. Although the notes that accompany Manz’s sketches are sparse (much like the chair itself), she talks more in depth in the video. Manz describes the chair as a formal design, meant for informal situations. She likens its rounded shape to a beach stone, and points out that the rounded back provides a sphere, or protected space for the person sitting on it. It’s a beautifully designed piece, very, very thin, thanks to current technology, but with hand stitched upholstery that harkens back to Old World tailoring. Follow its conception below.

This is the initial sketch showing thoughts on a “meeting landscape.”

Again a landscape, with chairs of different heights, which we later boiled down to just one.

A sketch of the plastic leg frame shows a technical solution versus the hand-stitched upholstery shell.

Sketches of the full grain leather piping.

The contour of the chair is a very important feature . I believe it should appear slim and continuous.

A sketch showing the detailing of the leg frame base; the shell sits gently on top.

A usage sketch depicting a café/restaurant environment.

Another usage sketch, this time domestic. A person might read, or take a nap, with his legs propped up.

Landscape in an unlinear setting, from above.

Models from basic paper, cardboard, car clay, and cibatool to 3D printer model.

Model of the seat in styropor.

Various tryouts in leather, solid wood, linen, and other materials.

This is my reference for the surface of the leg frame: It should be matte and rounded like a stone. Also, here are color samples of the Remix (Kvadrat) fabric used.

Four finished miniscule chairs.

Cecilie Manz talks about the concept of the minuscule chair in this video:

(click here if you can’t see the video)

We checked out the Miniscule chair while at ICFF:

We love the hand-stitched detail. Like a fine suit.


Marni Elyse Katz is a Contributing Editor at Design Milk. She lives in Boston where she contributes regularly to local publications and writes her own interior design blog, StyleCarrot.