The Ottawa Chair by Karim Rashid

by Tommy Wee

Most designers would be hard-pressed to update the concept of a chair. After all, it’s a single raised platform, designed usually with four legs and a back, for seating a single person. An essential.

As a contemporary idea, the chair is ubiquitous. It has translated into the most common piece of furniture in homes and offices, comforting in form and necessary in function. Until recently, few design milestones have come close to reimagining this classic piece.

Famed Egyptian industrial designer and multiple award winner Rashid Karim, 55, has breathed life into a light-hearted dining set to present the Ottawa collection. The whimsical collection has bested more than 4,600 other designs to win the coveted Red Dot Design Award, and it includes a table, pendant lamp, chairs, sideboard and cabinet.

Inspired partly by the natural landscape of Denmark, in which Karim Rashid spent some time in his early years as a designer, the Ottawa chair stands among his 3000-odd design portfolio for luxury goods, furniture and store designs.

Created as a sensual, leaf-shaped seat that cradles the sitter, even as it stands on four splayed legs that resemble a bird’s feet, allowing you to tuck your feet in without obstruction. It comes in customisable materials. It’s fun, easy on the eye and a thrill to rest in for post-dinner conversations.

As with most of Karim’s designs, the chairs bear the marks of playful imagination. United by a light and airy aesthetic, the leafy tips of the Ottawa Chairs end between the shoulder blades, offering high-functionality with a deep consciousness of the human body.

When slid under a table, the Ottawa Chairs sit on a forest of legs that offer a sophisticated design profile. Without compromising comfort or lumbar support, the Ottawa chair changes everything you know about a chair aesthetically.