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in theworkshop

In The

/   Cecilie Manz

The Workshop design echoes the elementary chair, harking back to the core of the object, conceived at the intersection of functionality and design.


Speaking on her approach to the process, Cecilie says: “I wanted to design the quintessential, everyday chair. It sounds like a simple and ordinary job, but it's far from that.”

Designing with an end-point in mind has always been a focal aspect in Cecilie’s work: “I aspire to create function within design and for that reason I never design anything that doesn’t fulfill a need or has a purposeful objective; the object should be at once resilient and timeless. With the Workshop chair, a silhouette that is easy to the eye is joined by an intrinsic sturdiness—the chair is recognizable to the user yet in an ambiguous way.

Simultaneously, the Workshop Chair’s uniqueness is derived from subtle details, including its thin back shell and slightly curved seat—details that are only noticed when seated in the chair. While appearing solid and heavy and in fact being extremely lightweight, the Workshop chair can be perceived as somewhat of a paradox: “It goes back to my initial approach to my work: creating a stable design isn’t difficult—the challenge is to remove just enough stability for the design to be infused with ease while sustaining the chair’s stable attribute.”


"I love Oregon Pine—it’s stuck with me ever since I first saw it as a child with my grandmother. There’s a special warmth and glow in it that you can’t find in any other material. Its soft-wooden nature also means that it's more prone to patina, showing its ware over time," says Manz.

/   /   MY PROCESS

“Designing is never merely doodling away without an objective: I always formulate a vision and let it snowball from there, sketching up the idea before heading into my workshop to create 1:1 models in foam and cardboard.”



"I like to be involved in every aspect of the design, causing my studio to be akin to a bubble—it’s my self-made universe where the surroundings can lead me towards different points of inspiration.

My studio is at the heart of what I do, serving as a hidden factor throughout the objects. When working there, I turn my unfinished sketches into three-dimensional models, following which they are transformed into more tangible forms.

Working with models in real-life rather than on a computer allows me to consider the unfinished design without being limited by its initial idea. Making models in a 1:1 ratio is crucial to the visualization of the object, seeing as the interrelationship of body and chair is alas one of the most essential elements of a design.