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Houdini Armchair

c. 2009

by Stefan Diez
for e15

The Houdini armchair is a small foot­print chair that is perfect for dining or an occa­sional chair. The distinc­tive seat features a slight, back­ward cant that encour­ages a comfort­able use of the chair. The distinc­tive silhou­ette of the respec­tive seats, backs, and shells of the Houdini family is informed by its mate­r­ial and a unique process histor­i­cally asso­ci­ated with build­ing model airplanes. This labor-inten­sive process involves thin (4mm) preci­sion-cut oak-veneered bands of plywood that are stretched by hand around a milled solid ring core. All pieces are attached using only glue no nails or screws are used. This combi­na­tion of mate­r­ial and produc­tion process is what imbues each Houdini family piece with its atyp­i­cal form, seam­less construc­tion, and asso­ci­ated levity – each piece truly repre­sents a remark­ably new way of expe­ri­enc­ing a wooden chair or stool.

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e15 Collection


e15 Collection


Stefan Diez

Germany (1971)

The craftsmanship of carpentry profoundly influences Stefan Diez's work. Born in 1971 in Freisin, Germany, the industrial designer grew up in a household of 4th generation carpenters. He spent three years as a cabinet maker before attending the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart, where he studied under Richard Sapper. In 2002, he founded his studio, and by 2008 created DIEZ OFFICE. Diez became a professor of industrial design at the University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe in 2007, teaching there until 2014. He then joined the School of Industrial Design Lund, Sweden in 2015 and continued to teach as the head of Industrial Design ID1 at Die Angewandte in Vienna. Diez’s industrial design work includes furniture, tableware, and home accessories. He often collaborates with various manufacturers including e15, Emu, HAY, Rosenthal, Thonet, Vibia, Wagner, and Wilkhahn.

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