How the Iconic Tripp Trapp High Chair Came to Life
An artful reminiscence of Rietveld’s 1934 Zig-Zag chair—with a spare, wooden geometric frame in the shape of a letter Z, and bearing a name equally alliterative—the Tripp Trapp, designed by Peter Opsvik, distinguishes itself from other high chairs in that it allows children to sit closer and more intimately to the family dining table. "I tried to find a chair that allowed our [then-] two-year-son to sit comfortably together with us at the table," the Norwegian industrial designer recalls. "So I had to figure out the solution myself."
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Selling more than 9 million chairs to date, the Tripp Trapp has remained in continued production since its launch in 1972. With movable seat and footrest panels that can be adjusted to a user’s growing height, the timeless design is built to be long-enduring for its individual user, as well: It can be used comfortably from infancy to adulthood, scaling up from a high chair to a task chair that accommodates users of up to 300 pounds. For Opsvik, who has focused on ergonomic design for more than 45 years through his independent, Oslo-based practice, the Tripp Trapp remains his most famous work. "It is satisfying to see that products that solve everyday challenges are appreciated," he says. "The distinct visual form gives Tripp Trapp longevity. It does not look old-fashioned and thus, there is no reason to replace it."