Fredericia's Trinidad Chair on Au Courant Daily by Lisa-Marie Harris


I've admired Nanna Ditzel's (1923 - 2005) design work for ages. Not because she is a woman designer who stands tall in the impressive arc of Danish design legends. Or even because her iconic Trinidad chair design, seen here, was directly informed by the lattice-work and Gingerbread houses scattered across the country of my birth. 

I find it intriguing that some of her notable works were released in her later years, but for me, Ditzel's most enduring allure lies squarely on her ability to cut through the evanescence of inspiration in order to isolate the small, almost imperceptible notions at the heart of her ideas. 

In production by Fredericia since its launch in 1993, Ditzel's Trinidad chair was inspired by her vacations on the island, and in particular, by the interplay of light and shade across the airy, post-colonial wooden homes built in response to the stifling equatorial heat. 

And yet, if you were to Google 'Trinidad Gingerbread Houses,' the resulting images will look nothing like Ditzel's ingeniously arched plywood chairs. A typical Gingerbread house is typified by its lace-like, delicately fret-worked finish, whereas Ditzel's chairs are quite sleek and precise. What she brings to the design of her chairs from the island - what links the two - is the feel of sitting on the verandah of a Gingerbread house: the distinct sensation of being cradled in the breezy form of a vented, wooden space.

That somewhat contradictory idea has been at the core of my visual examinations for an editorial collaboration with Fredericia around the Trinidad chair. Set for publishing in the forthcoming late summer release of Au Courant Vol. 03, the photo series will combine some of Ditzel's original inspirations, reinterpreted for this era and informed wholly by my own understanding of, and interactions with, the Trinidad design. 

Here, a few early experimentations to better understand its line and form.

Click through to learn more on Fredericia's Trinidad chair.


Fredericia's Trinidad Chair on Au Courant Daily by Lisa-Marie Harris


Fredericia's Trinidad Chair on Au Courant Daily by Lisa-Marie Harris

"The cutout fretwork lightens the visual density of the chair [and also] functions as a decorative element."

Fredericia Furniture on the Trinidad Chair

Fredericia's Trinidad Chair on Au Courant Daily by Lisa-Marie Harris


Fredericia's Trinidad Chair on Au Courant Daily by Lisa-Marie Harris

Words & Images | Lisa-Marie Harris
In partnership with Fredericia
Copyright 2007 - 2017 Au Courant LLC
All Rights Reserved





  • On Idealism
  • Ep. 05
  • A casual discourse on idealism, as seen through the lens of the Dutch De Stijl art movement. With Edwin Jacobs, then director of the Centraal Museum Utrecht.

    By Lisa-Marie Harris.


  • Au Courant
  • Vol. 02
  • Art, Design + Life/Style
    With Edwin Jacobs at Centraal Museum Utrecht, LA sculptor Peter Alexander, Martin van Nieuwenhuyzen on Isa Genzken at The Stedelijk Museum, Studio WM, Duane Dove at Tobago Estate Chocolate, Kris Kim of La Garconne, and more.
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