fast forward 60s futurism: the series 1-2-3 panton chair for today

There is a timelessness to mid-20th century Danish design that still makes it so appealing today.  But unlike Arne Jacobsen and Hans Wegner who came before him, Verner Panton (1926-1998) made his mark in the 1960s and 1970s.  One of my favorite designs is his Series 1-2-3 chairs devised in 1973 for Fritz Hansen.

Called Series 1-2-3 because of the different qualities of upholstery offered, the chair is actually an inspiration of Panton’s original and challenging Pantone Chair of 1960 produced by Vitra (below).
As you know, I normally prefer vintage pieces and re-issues are a distant second choice, unless the point is comfort and look over collectable.  And this is why I’m featuring these today. Rather than merely copying the originals, Mrs. Panton has approved for Verpan, an updated version of the Series 1-2-3 lounge and dining chairs.
Today’s deluxe version (top image), with its removable tufted cushion is infinitely more comfortable than the original (which only came in fabric or leather).  The chairs swivel (or are stackable – below image- if you get it with a butterfly base) and are very, user friendly.
And although there is a “swinging 60s” thing to them, there is also a sense of poised perfection and everlasting elegance that make them appealing today.
image credits: (top) Design Within Reach, US; (center) Verpan, Denmark; (bottom) Vitra, Italy
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