Objects Of Design #345: AA Butterfly Chair

The AA Butterfly chair designed in 1938 is a classic
The AA Butterfly chair designed in 1938 is a classic

Designed in 1938, this chair now has a permanent place in MoMa in New York. Choose from either the black legs or chrome depending on your preference. It was inspired by Le Corbusier, one of the pioneers of modern architecture, with whom its three designers ( Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy, Antonio Bonet and Juan Kurchan) worked in the thirties.

recently reissued with black or chrome legs
recently reissued with black or chrome legs

One of the reasons I love it is because it’s a bit like a deckchair and there’s nothing like sitting on a deckchair to make you think of blue skies and sunny days. And if you add a fur throw or soft cushion to it, it becomes a slightly decadent object.

On a recent trip to Switzerland, I saw this rather fabulous faux reindeer deckchair and instantly wanted to spend an hour sitting there and drinking hot chocolate. Sadly, as it was for sale outside a shop and not a cafe, I had to move on, but the AA Butterfly reminds me a little of that, so for that reason it earns its place in the hall of 365 Objects of Design.

a deckchair for a winter's day
a deckchair for a winter’s day

So the weather outside is frightful, you might as well be cosy inside and a good chair will take you halfway there. A good book and a glass of wine or cup of tea will do the rest.

See you in the Spring.


Bodie and Fou





Tags : chairDesign Classicskeeping cosyobjects of design
Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. Too nice to be true – a real classic piece of armchair that is even dispalyed at the museum of mordern art in new yoork with a sticker price well below the 4 digit range ist my alltime favorite and it is the last peice of furniture I would gov eaway if I had to trade in my beloved range of furniture that make up my living room (although there are much costler pieces included than my great little butterfly chair sich as the Lounge Chair by the Eames (Herman Miller, a beautiful second hand version) or Saarinens Tulip chair – the Butterfly chair tops them all easily, becuase it is so refined, simple thoughtful ! Thank you, Ferrari-Hardoy for haviong given us this beautiful, wunderful littel gift in 1938 ! Long live the Butterfly Chair.

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