My Ant Chair is a thing of beauty, as much sculpture as furniture. It was designed in 1952 by the great Dane Arne Jacobsen with three legs so you wouldn’t get your legs tangled with them. But that feature is what makes it unstable to the unbalanced. A few years ago a pompous friend was sitting on mine, oblivious to what was under him. He began to blather on about the ubiquity of the Ant Chair. There are so many of them, he said, it’s such an obvious chair choice. He finished what was saying, smirked at me, happy with his pronouncement. Then, slowly at first, began to topple sideways. He looked at what he’d been sitting on from the floor. The chair had had its revenge.
Actually, you are somewhat oblivious to the Ant Chair when you’re sitting on it. It’s very light and you feel almost weightless and very elegant. The back has a lovely spring to it. The curved surfaces are smooth and sensual. If you half squint it does look a bit like an ant. It’s modest, made from slim ply and slim tubular steel. It couldn’t be anything but Scandinavian.
It’s beauty and functionality are, of course, why it’s so popular and why I quietly enjoyed watching my smug friend fall off it. And that’s why I love the Ant Chair.