Design Knowledge Intermediary

Kubus Chair, 1910
Wittmann, Austria

Josef Hoffmann

Hardwood, leather

W 94 cm, H 79 cm, D 86 cm


Adhering to a design philosophy Hoffmann termed "Quadratsil", the Kubus Chair betrays the designer's love of geometric design in general and his fascination with the humble cube shape in particular. The chair's uniform, individually hand stitched panels form a tessellated patchwork of upholstered squares which come together to provide a veritable mosaic of cool and comfortableness. The mathematical purity of its measurements coupled with the undeniable stylishness of its execution have meant the Kubus has never gone out of fashion.

The Kubus is in many ways the apotheosis of the Wiener Werkstätte philosophy, which espoused the belief in expunging naturalist influences from the design in order to fashion a "total work of art".

Hoffmann followed up on the success of the chair with the two seated Kubus Loveseat and the three seated Kubus Sofa. Both these later designs are faithful to the original Kubus blueprint. All three Kubus designs employ a hardwood frame which is usually upholstered in black leather.

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