In the realm of design, where convention often guides form, Terje Ekstrøm's Ekstrem chair emerges not just as a mere seat but as a manifesto of design's liberated future.
When first beholding the Ekstrem chair, one is struck by a sense of the audacious. Celebrating nearly its 40th anniversary in the market, this Varier creation still resonates with a contemporary pulse, its bold aesthetics and organic shape echoing our current cultural zeitgeist. The Ekstrem defies the traditional Scandinavian design ethos, known for its functionalism and subdued naturalism, and instead embraces a radical form that encourages varied, almost playful, interactions.
Born in 1944, Terje Ekstrøm, hailing from a traditional Norwegian craftsman family, blended his foundational skills in upholstery and carpentry with a broader vision. He transcended the label of a furniture designer, embracing the roles of an industrial designer and interior architect. His work, especially in the transformative 1970s and 80s, injected a new vitality into Norwegian design, riding on the wave of 'Jappekultur' with its embrace of risk and innovation.
The Ekstrem chair, with its non-traditional shape, challenges the conventional notion of a chair. It's not just a piece of furniture but a dynamic experience, offering a spectrum of seating possibilities that defy the fixed, defined use traditionally associated with chairs. This design approach, while seemingly breaking all Scandinavian rules, actually embodies the essence of its design in a subtle, almost poetic manner. The chair’s organic shape and functional versatility reflect a deep inspiration from nature – a hallmark of Scandinavian design philosophy.
The Ekstrem chair is more than a sitting apparatus – it's a standalone object, a symbol of Norway’s postmodern design exploration. Its unexpected geometry allows a multitude of postures – from a traditional forward sit to a more relaxed sideways lounge. Each position is a narrative in itself, a dialogue between the user and the chair.
The chair’s upholstery options, Knit and Gentle 2, further exemplify its unique character. Knit, with its woolen, breathable fabric, adapts flawlessly to the chair's organic contours, while Gentle 2’s knitted velvet with its rich, luminous texture accentuates the chair’s striking form.
Interestingly, Ekstrem's intersection with pop culture, notably its appearance in the 1995 Star Trek series, highlights its futuristic appeal and underscores Ekstrøm's forward-thinking design approach. This wasn't just a chair; it was a piece of tomorrow, imagined today.
Varier, the Oslo-based brand behind Ekstrem, embodies a spirit of innovation. At its core, the brand reimagines seating, offering a range of ergonomic designs that accommodate shifts in movement. Enhancing customer engagement, Varier recently introduced an online shop on their website, facilitating a seamless exploration and purchase of their distinctive products.