design furniture my home

Peter Karpf Mod Molded Plywood "Oto" Chair

Oto Chair by Peter Karpf with sheepskin

Last week while packing up the gallery the boss ever-so-graciously offered me this mod molded plywood chair that he didn’t have a space for any longer. I asked my coworkers & drollgirl if they were interested and they assured me they were not. So, being the great scavenger that I am, I was giddy with excitement on the inside trying to play it cool on the outside about my most recent acquisition.

I knew this was a “designer chair” but I had to do a bit of research on it because the tag on the under side has fallen off. I also knew that it was originally purchased at Design Within Reach in 2001, in bright cherry red lacquer. However, since it had been sitting in the same spot in the corner of my boss’ office, right next to a large window for the last ten years, the bright cherry red lacquer has become more of a pale peachy faded cherry allowing the wood grain to show through. It faded gradually and quite nicely rather than splotchy though, and If you didn’t know a thing about this chair, you would think it came this way.

I don’t mind the color, in fact I like it very much. It would work in our living room {where you see it now} however, I’d almost rather use it in my office/studio where I actually need a low chair. Our living space is not lacking in the chair department {though it’s comfy, I find it to be more of a piece of art than a functional sitting chair}.

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So here’s what I found out. . .

The chair is a design by Danish architect-designer, Peter Karpf {1940-}, and is one of three commercially produced designs from his Voxia collection, a line first conceived in the early 1960’s featuring extremely thin layers of plywood, making for an unusually strong and durable form. Though only three designs from the collection were commercially made {in the early 1990’s} and sold, the designs are crafted from a sustainably managed forest near the production plant. The forms themselves require minimal materials to create – a real statement of less being more, and the production process requires substantially less energy. And of course, they are recyclable.

This design is said to be found in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art ( MOMA ) in New York. Karpf has been rewarded with numerous awards for his Voxia collection.

From what I’ve found, is the only retailer of new Oto chairs listed for around $2200 red – and there is a vintage one at in beech listed for $1500.

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Question to Modern Design and/or Vintage Furniture Professionals: Will I diminish the value of it if I decide I want to refurbish {by re-staining or re-painting} this chair myself? If so, do you know of a place that will do it professionally, thus retaining the value of it? Is it worth more in its faded condition than it would be if I “fixed” it?

Sources: Fabulously{green}, DWR, V and M, Funktion Alley, Scandinavian Design


Maegan Tintari

LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.

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