The 13 Coolest Chairs on the Planet

This Lagos-based design firm takes inspiration from minimalist architecture and places it in a contemporary Yoruban context. In other words, it sets West African fabrics and woods into exacting, clean shapes. The Line chair’s sharp angles recall work by French modern design legend Pierre Jeanneret.


Courtesy of Takeshi Nii


Designer: Takeshi Nii
Country: Japan

A Japanese classic designed in 1970 that’s won awards over three separate decades, this is one of those epochal pieces that makes time bend. Was it really made 50 years ago? Light, foldable, and reasonably priced, it’s the camp chair’s platonic ideal.


Courtesy of León León

BN01 Chair

Designer: León León
Country: Mexico

Mexico City-based León León’s BN01 is an unadorned leather canopy hanging over a base of light parota wood—the kind found mostly in Latin America. Shaped a bit like Kaare Klint’s 1933 Safari chair but with the same direct energy that characterizes Percival Lafer’s ’70s loungers, it’s sleek, unassuming, and stately.


Photograph by Sarah Lee

Kimble Chair

Designer: Matthew Hilton for De La Espada
Country: England

A Windsor chair produced by the Portuguese furniture maker De La Espada, the Kimble looks as elegant as a museum piece but reinterpreted in a customizable, opulent way. Each variation of the ash and walnut chair—whether finished with white, black, or Danish oil—offers a different aesthetic and energy, from simple and stark to vibrant and contrasting.


Courtesy of NOOM

Low Chair Gropius

Designer: NOOM
Country: Ukraine

NOOM Designer Kateryna Sokolova pays tribute to furniture heroes of the past: The Low Chair Gropius, named after the Bauhaus founder, uses the rough dimensions of his famous F51 armchair, inverted to be softer and more playful.

A version of this story originally appeared in the October 2021 issue with the title “Around the World in 13 Chairs.”

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