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&Tradition reissues the Ax chair, designed by Hvidt & Mølgaard in 1950

Designed by Hvidt & Mølgaard in 1950, the AX chair has a unique cultural provenance in the global context of post-World War II, which ushered in a burst of innovation embracing the democracy of design.

The Danish design duo had already made a name for themselves with the success of their Portex range from 1944, a lightweight series of stackable, flat-packed, wooden, and laminated veneer furniture specially designed for international export. It was an approach that fulfilled a growing need to produce affordable furniture for the masses.

To address this, talents from around the world were invited to take part in the 'International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design' in 1948, spearheaded by New York's Museum of Modern Art. Hvidt & Mølgaard participated with several ideas for a new series of furniture in laminated wood. The competition attracted many of their contemporaries, such as Hans J. Wegner, Charles Eames, Robin Day, Marcel Breuer, and Marco Zanuso, among others, in a widely publicized event that marked a pivotal point in design.

The global exposure they received from the MoMA competition led Hvidt & Mølgaard to subsequently design the Ax collection, produced in laminated veneer, demonstrating the designers' comprehensive approach to design, which also took into account construction, production, and packaging for overseas transport. The series utilized a new technology at the time involving the first industrially-shaped plywood in three dimensions, engineered to provide unprecedented comfort - without the need for upholstery.

Visually, one of the most striking features of the AX chair is the continuous curve of the armrest, which appears to have emerged from the frame, mirrored in the curve that starts from the back and extends to the front of the seat.

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