Michael Hollesen had news about my back. And ears. Both actually.
Enter his purpose-designed listening chair expected to retail for about €5,500 when in production in the new year. The press release put it all as follows:
|"Everyone passionate about listening to music
should have a beautiful listening chair to enjoy.
Introducing the prototype of the Ballerina
Sweetspot listening chair, probably one of the
world’s first purpose-built listening chairs.
Originated by Michael Hollesen, the initial
design and functional requirements of the
Ballerina Sweetspot cater to a select group of people who in their love for music demand
more from what they are sitting in:
• A chair that you could easily sit in for hours,
with great ergonomics and support for the
body, back and neck.
• … with a headrest that won’t block out the sound.
• … have a place to put the remote controls
within easy reach.
• … where the seating height is adjustable to
match the speakers’ height, and…
• for the really serious listeners, the ability
to isolate the chair even more from the
vibrations passed on through the floor.
And of such beautiful design to take a "first row
seat" in front of the soundstage.
"The Ballerina Sweetspot listening chair is the result of a true collaboration of function and
form, of a passionate audiophile and a
talented and dedicated designer.
And it all started in PowerPoint. The first idea
going into the design was actually the curved
(and hollow) arm rests. I wanted something
elongated that could hold the remote controls
so you—or I—wouldn’t need to sit with them in
the lap on the floor or away on a coffee table",
said Michael Hollesen.
"Also, often I had gotten up from the sofa after
sitting too long only to have a hurting neck so
I wanted a small headrest to provide support
but also one that didn’t block the sound. Most
chairs with headrests today—even the great
classics—cover too much of the head and ear,
thus interfering with the sound.
"The initial design that came out of these
needs in combination with my own and
PowerPoint’s limited design abilities
resembled that of a ballerina lifting her ballet
skirt and slightly neighing. As it was a chair designed for listening to
music in, the name was also born."
To take another person’s idea —even a
simplistic design— and enhance and develop
it into a 'real' design requires both respect of
the original thought, great skill and a large
degree of own vision for the project. Jonas
Rylander was the perfect choice to take the
"As a designer it is seldom that you get both
such a narrow and detailed brief but also such
a great degree of artistic freedom," starts
"It presented two routes. One was perhaps
more futuristic in its design whereas the other
was more contemporary and organic. In this chosen route, I had shrunk the original
headrest in width, the chair had grown in size—and I had lowered the seating height and lower
back—but also increased the curvature of the
back to create a sense of being enveloped.
Also I had chosen to create very distinct
shapes of the cushions to further enhance the
organic feel to the design. The result was a design with a large degree of
male strength and hardness yet entirely female
in its curves."
The Ballerina Sweetspot prototype is on permanent display at Audio Concept in Stockholm Sweden. The chair is planned to go into production in late January/early February 2010. For the latest information on the Ballerina
Sweetspot prototype, please go to
www.klutzdesign.com or contact Michael Hollesen.
Klutz Design Company was founded in 2009 by
Cecilia Lütz and Michael Hollesen. None of the
founders are designers by education or
profession - but by passion. "The statement of
purpose of Klutz Design is to make the products
that we felt were missing in our lives. The only
thing that these products have in common are
unique functional benefits, a holistic, simple
design and outstanding quality
- products that we haven't seen elsewhere.
That's what we call opportunities of function."
About Jonas Rylander:
Jonas is himself a music lover and an
accomplished designer who got his education
from the Swedish School of Design and Crafts at
Gothenburg University. Apart from his own
designs, Jonas has also worked on a project
with Volvo, Electrolux and Tiger of Sweden.