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"floris chair" Tag

A Creative Chair

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

I always feel incredible small when I go to big museums. The artworks often fill up all the mental space in the room. I always end up feeling incredibly small, unimportant in relation to the art that surrounds me. When I went through the collection at the Stedelijk Base a couple of weeks ago, I felt the same way. Very small in comparison to these big paintings and great design.  Overwhelmed by all the history of modern art and design gathered in one place.

I find it fascinating the way they put the chairs on pedestals in museums, also in the Stedelijk base. They give the chair extra meaning, value. These are chairs that people also own in their homes, but suddenly they are given a different function. These chairs have a utility, but in a museum they are no longer to sit on. This is ironic, since it was made for sitting. A chair is often rated higher amongst other pieces of furniture. People have a closer connection to chairs, probably because it is made directly for our bodies to sit in. If you think about it, we spend a lot of time awake, sitting.

In the Stedelijk museum i was in the end also drawn towards a chair. I walked through the exhibition to look for my object, and I found it. It was placed in a smaller room, way back in the corner. It was hidden, but when I saw it, it caught my attention. There was no doubt that this chair was a sculpture in itself. It had an organic, almost sexual shape and a shiny surface.  I was curious as to how it would feel to sit in. Would it be comfortable, functional? Or was it even made for sitting? This is how i ended up picking the Floris Chair, designed by Günter Belzig.




First in my research, I found that the chair had been written about before, on the design blog. There is a post about the chair written earlier this year. The writer asks the question if the chair is even made for sitting. If the purpose is for it to be more comfortable, than functional, does it live up to this? link:

Also the chair is mentioned in another post on the Designblog about plastic:


The Internet is never ending. It is insane how much information you can find. However, there is a risk of getting lost and it can be hard to filter the information you find, and sometimes even hard to find the right information. When I made a google search of Floris Chair design by Günter Belzig, of course a lot of links came up. 99% of them from auction sites. There were a number of sites selling the chair, or that had sold the chair. At first i thought that these sites were quite interesting to study. The comparisons and differences in prices, descriptions, but the more sites I looked at, the more prices I looked at, the less I understood the fact that the chair was valued that highly. I started to question my original impression of the chair. What was it, that made the chair so insanely expensive?


$ 23,750. This is what the google, could tell me about the Floris chair.


I continued my search, and the next thing I found was a Danish website about ergonomics, where the one of Günter Belzigs designs had been picked, among other  ergonomic furniture, to sell on the website. It was the Pegasus design, not the Floris, however. It was shown on the website next to ‘ergonomic tips’, which I found odd, but that was most information I found about the chair so far. They showed images of how the chair was made.


The next thing I found was Günter Belzigs own website, and here the Floris chair suddenly seemed less important than it had so far. The chair was only one of many other kinds of projects displayed. Most of the website was about the designs of playgrounds for children, that Günter Belzig has made. Almost everything is under the theme ‘play’ apart from the plastic furniture, he oh, so happens also had made.


So this brought me much more close to the designer behind the chair. But I found it very strange, that the same designer had created these two very distant things. An almost erotic looking chair and playgrounds for children. Günter Belzig, a playground designer, but not famous for his playgrounds. Just famous for this one chair that he made…

How did the chair become famous? How did the chair end up in the museum? Who decided that the chair should be placed there? What made it important? I wonder if the chair was placed in the exhibition because it was famous, or the other way around, if the chair became famous, because it was placed in the exhibition. When someone decided to put the chair on the pedestal in the Stedelijk base, they in some way closed the discussion about the chair. They decided that the chair is important, that it was good, important design. In some way they also opened up for the discussion about the chair, by placing it there, on the pedestal. They show it; so we can study it, make our opinion of it…

It was hard to find anything about the Floris chair in books. All the books with information on it, you would find in germany, and in german. To find information in relation to the chair, you would have to broaden the research and look more away from the chair or the designer.

When I walked through the Stedelijk Base, I was seduced by the chairs shape, glinse and the kind of mystery there was. Would it be comfortable? Would it actually fit the human body? After the first research I did, i was disappointed. There was nothing interesting to find about the chair and I questioned why it was even placed in the museum. But, the final place that could help me to know more about Günter Belzig and the Floris Chair, was youtube.


I saw these videos of Günter Belzig talking about his the Floris Chair among his other work, and I came closer to understand why he designed this type of furniture. Günter Belzig believes in creativity and innovation and wants to create spaces that stimulate this. He created the Floris chair just as one of his playgrounds, as a space for creativity. Now the question has changed. We don’t just want to ask whether or not the chair is comfortable to sit in, but when you sit, does it also induce your creativity?


Skærmbillede 2018-10-31 kl. 21.40.09



From Chair to Playground

Friday, October 26, 2018

While viewing all the design objects in Stedelijk Museum I came to the end of the show. I thought its hopeless to find something that satisfies my eye. I finally saw the Floris chair in it’s beautiful white form. I thought it was such an extraordinary design, so feminine, so elegant, there must be something interesting on this chair, and so I began my research on Gunter Beltzig.


Gunter Beltzig is an industrial designer that designed plastic furniture in his youth. They are now exhibited as classics in museums of modern art. He designed many various pieces of chairs and tables. As I went on checking his website, facebook profile, and all the pages that Google gave me, I found more and more of Floris Tablehis furniture. Some were named by the same name, “Floris”, and some more playful names like Pegasus.


pegasus chair

In 1968, Beltzig created the visionary FLORIS chair, which made him known overnight. I stumbled upon Gunter’s research and ideals about life, he seemed to get be inspired by the atmosphere of the 1960s. World events, such as America sending a man to the moon or withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam, made the possibilities seem endless. To him, the world seemed full of potential and Beltzig wanted to produce a chair that matched the great future ahead.

Beltzig’s Floris chair is an ergonomic form with three legs and designed to support the three points needed for seating: the neck, rear, and back. Further the chair is light, stackable and stable. Made of fiberglass, the biomorphic form captures the spirit of the material.

272 fiberglass-wave-slide-500x500


Soon enough I started to see Gunter’s designs to represent interesting forms, something that reminded me of children’s play. I noticed that his designs were morphing into samples of playground equipment.


Also if you put them in an outdoor environment, they represent their true shape

and use: artikel_aus_sammeln_seite_07_bild_4 artikel_aus_sammeln_seite_08_bild_3

I found information that he worked for almost five years designing electrical equipment for Siemens AG in Munich until he decided to design playground equipment and outdoor areas for children, of course we can see by his fixation on minimal, plastic, childish designs.
He has written a book on playground design, which has been translated into several languages, authored many publications on the subject of playgrounds catering for people with disabilities and children’s aesthetics and also worked collaboratively on the playground standards. He has held teaching positions at various technical universities. He has created very interesting play areas throughout Europe, also in sensitive nature and conservation areas, with high design demands, many play offers and high experience and learning effects.

  • The 6 golden rules for a perfect playground (TEXT)
    Children play! At any time! With everything! Everywhere! All over!


    Children play everywhere, at all times, with everything they can find; therefore children actually need no playgrounds. But because they are not allowed to play everywhere with everything at any time we need playgrounds to entice children away from dangers, disturbances and the wrong things.

Playing means: „activities of an individual to adjust to the environment“, with other words – playing means sampling all possibilities, go to the borders, sample experiences, search, learn – and it just does not mean children alone, but artists, researchers and many creative human beings play.

There is no defined „value of play“ but many particular play functions like climbing, balancing, coordinating, sliding, to train social conduct, to sustain oneself within the group, but also the experience of wind, rain, sun, these are only few of the possibilities in functional play.

They can overlap, can support one another; but also can block up, prevent play or lead to aggressive behavior.

Therefore it is of special importance to consciously select and search for and set in special play functions on playgrounds on special play equipment.

A playground is a highly complex sociologically functioning place.

The 6 golden rules for a perfect playground

A good playground should:
1. Offer atmosphere, impart sense of well-being, invite to abidance.
2. Have possibilities for discovery, provide only searcher with its full potentials.
3. Allow controllable risk, cognizable risk, manipulable risk.
4. Offer differing possibilities for different moods, interests, needs.
5. Supply wind-, sight- and sound-shelter.
6. Make „special“ bans dispensable.

A bad playground is:
1. A parcours for dressage.
2. A landscape decoration.
3. A use of residual areas.
4. A centralist mono-structure for only one specific user-group.
5. Not enough room, not enough choices, too uniform, not enough stability, too unkind.
6. Too safe, too similar to an enclosure, too regulated.

Gunter is a designer with a great imagination, I can almost say that he would fulfill all my dreams as a child, and give me the opportunity to enter a playground full of excitement.

skizze04 skizze01 skizze25  freizeitparks011

Some more information about projects, books, articles, text and magazine mentions:


Playconcepts and Projects of the recent past

– Playground without Play equipment, at the LAGA, Pforzheim, Germany 1992
– Apulia Robinson Club, Kinderbereich,  Italien 1993
– Expo Lissabon, Spielgelände,  Portugal 1997
– New York City Hall of Science, Play Area,  USA 1997
– Naturspielgelände,  Waging am See,  1997
– Playmobilpark,  Zirndorf  1998
– Castle Plays Cape,  Billund, Dänemark 1998
– Spielinsel, Thoiry-Park,  Frankreich 2000
– Spiel-Mal, Ornithopter,  Magdeburg 2000
– Play-Area in the Livingston Park,  Puerto Rico 2001
– Princess Diana Memorial Parc, Play Area,  Kensington, London 2001
– Spielburg, LAGA,  Oelde 2001
– Ouwehands Dieren Park, Spielhalle,  Holland 2002
– Wasserspiel im Kinderreich, Deutsches Museum, München 2002
– Fidenza Village, Play Area,  Italien 2003
– Spiel-Mal, Kiesspiel,  Dortmund 2003
– Wasserspiel LAGA, Trier 2004
– Play in the Tree Alnwick Garden,  England 2004
– Playmobil Spielen in der Halle,  Zirndorf 2004
– Blindeninstitutsstiftung,  Würzburg  2005
– Spiellabyrinth,  Wien 2005
– “Play the Wilderness” Concept,  Deimhausen since 1998


Gunter Beltzig  is mentioned in a few books and biographies mainly interested around design in the Stedelijk Museum library:


Experiment 70 : Designvisionen von Luigi Colani und Günter BeltzigGrunewald, Almut Hoffmann, Tobias (2002)

2. Sixties design: Garner, Philippe (2001)

3. Plastics : designs and materials: Katz, Sylvia (1978)

4. Van bakeliet tot composiet : design met nieuwe materialen = From bakelite to composite : design in new materialsBucquouye, Moniek E.Beukers, Adriaan (2002)



„Kinderspielplätze“,  Bauverlag, 1987,  no longer available, revised as: „Das Spielplatzbuch“,  Spiel-Raum-Verlag 1998 translated into:  ukrainian 1991, polish 2001 „Ksiega Placow Zabaw“

„Spielgeräte…“,  G.Agde, G.Beltzig, J.Richter, D.Settelmeier, DIN Beuth-Verlag 2001 translated into:  french,  Verlag Afnor 2002

„Leitlinien für integrative Spielplätze“, Nürnberg 2003



“Child-like, Childish, Child-friendly: is there such a thing as children´s aesthetics?”, (Kid Size, Exhibition Catalogue, Vitra Museum 1997)

Meine „Sixties“  68 Design und Alltagskultur (Dumont, Ausst.-Katalog 1998)

Kindergarten Architecture (Gingko Press inc. Corte Madera  USA 2001)

Guarderias Diseno de Jardines de Infancia (Editorial G.Gill .S.A.,  Barcelona 2001)

Bauten für Kinder (Kohlhammer Verlag Stuttgart 2002)



The 6 golden rules for a perfect playground 

Child-like, Childish, Child-friendly: is there such a thing as children’s aesthetics 

Play areas in schools 

Concept for A Councillor of Children needs 

Playgrounds and Playground Equipment for the Handicapped 





Not for Humans

Monday, January 22, 2018


The white Floris chair made by Gunter Beltzig in 1968 invites you to sit down comfortably at the same time at it does not.
The material from which the strangely shaped chair is made is solid but smooth fiberglass and although the chair has different parts they can’t be separated from each other for it is a whole.
By the way it is made and shaped, your body should fit precisely when sitting in this chair, the back part being in the shape of a human back with space for your backbone to rest in and shoulders on both sides.
The seat being in the shape of a flattened butt, mirroring your seated butt, looks still too curvy for you to sit completely straight.
Its neck, which smoothly devolves from the shoulders seems way too long for your head to be able to reach the headrest and if you would place your head on the right spot, your back probably wouldn’t be anymore.

T zijkant rechts close

Because of its alienated human body features, there must be only one way to sit or else you will lose the comfort it might have.
But still, the chair gives the impression that it is not meant to be used at all.
That this chair is not meant to be used in the Stedelijk Museum, is made clear by its place on a small white platform which is attached to the wall.
The color of its surroundings is all white giving no room for any distraction and because its the only chair in the room that you have probably never seen before, it pops out and catches your eyes quickly.
While I walk on, the white alien chair waits lonely for the right person who fits.

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