The Swivel Chair from 1955 constitutes a cross between the hard steel frame and the soft wood and leather. It is an uncompromising tool with comfort and ergonomics as overriding considerations.
In actual fact it is a continuation of the Round Chair, also known as The Chair, which marked a turning point, not just for Wegner but also for Danish Design in general. The top bar, made of solid wood and twisted like a propeller, is separated from the remaining frame and completed at the very limit of what is possible for full ergonomic advantage.
Wegner was inspired by Consultant, Professor and Doctor of Medicine & PhD Eigill Snorrason’s critique, which was aimed at the entire Danish design and furniture trade for not paying enough attention to ergonomics. In his critique, however, Snorrason had actually pointed out that Wegner’s Cow Horn Chair, which had the same backrest as the Round Chair, was in fact an ergonomically correct exception to the rule, and the two passionate professionals engaged in a dialogue, which resulted in the Swivel Chair with a large piece of solid wood as support for the lower back.
Like numerous other Wegner designs, the Swivel Chair was to be produced by Danish craftsmen with not a second thought for cost-minimizing industrial production. It presents huge challenges for the joiner, the upholsterer and the blacksmith as it demands time-consuming work that must not be compromised in any way. Wegner himself expressed it thus, ‘It’s for the boss … or the secretary. No, it’s too expensive for the secretary. It’s for the boss who will appreciate being able to sit correctly in a chair’.