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CH468 Oculus Chair

c. 1960

by Hans J. Wegner
for Carl Hansen & Søn

CH468 Oculus Chair

by Hans J. Wegner
for  Carl Hansen & Søn

or Call to Order

Famous for its distinc­tive design, spacious back, and soft seat cushion, the CH468 Oculus Chair is an impres­sive design from Hans J. Wegner that almost never saw the light of day. Wegner initially designed the easy chair in 1960 and gained the inter­est of Carl Hansen & Son upon visit­ing his work­shop. Half a century later, in 2010, it became possi­ble to put the Oculus chair in production.

An invit­ing design icon, the Oculus Chair encour­ages a relaxed posture for personal focus and reju­ve­na­tion. The design ensures that the shoul­der blades can fall back comfort­ably into the chair, creat­ing a resting point for the neck and back. The sleek-looking stain­less steel frame with sloping legs empha­sizes the unique uphol­stered upper chair shape. It gains its moniker for the eye-shaped stitch­ing of the chair’s back; more­over, it is sure to capture the eye as a natural focal point in any room.

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Hans J. Wegner

Denmark (1914–2007)

If Danish modernism is best known and beloved for the use of traditional techniques to emphasize materiality—graceful curves honoring the grain of fine walnut, for example—that’s thanks in large part to Hans J. Wegner. Born in southern Denmark, at 14 Wegner began an apprenticeship with Danish master cabinetmaker H. F. Stahlberg, where he honed a preternatural talent and learned skills he’d bring to bear throughout a career lasting some eighty years and full of design masterpieces.

While studying at the School of Arts and Crafts in Copenhagen, Wegner worked for Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller on a range of furniture for the Aarhus City Hall. Four years after graduation, he had showcased a chair at the Copenhagen Museum of Art and Industry, and opened his own firm. Sculptural, surprisingly comfortable seating became Wegner’s trademark: for Fritz Hansen, the floating Chinese chairs; for Carl Hansen & Sons, he designed the instant classic Wishbone, Shell, and Elbow chairs; for PP Møbler, the cozy Papa Bear, iconic Round, and buoyant Circle chairs; and countless others, most still in production.

Wegner retired in 1993 and died fourteen years later, but his work lives on in its ubiquity across residential, hospitality, and corporate design—not to mention the Museum Sønderjylland’s permanent exhibition of the three dozen chairs he felt were his very best in a water tour in his hometown of Tønder.

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